Central Coast Mariners hosts Melbourne City in round 24 of Australian A-League. The match will be played on Friday, March 20th at Central Coast Stadium (Gosford)
Central Coast Mariners is in the last place in the Australian A-League standings. The club already has a nine-match streak of defeats. As for the last fifteen games held, there have been only two victories - one over neighboring Melbourne Victory and the second over Adelaide United. It’s hard to say when this streak of defeats will be broken, but I think it will not happen in matches with the leaders of the division. After twenty-one rounds of this season, the Mariners have sixteen losses, which is a bit more than 75% of the total number of matches. The team conceded forty-seven goals and scored only twenty. Judging by the team’s game, the current situation suits the players, as there is no relegation zone in the Australian A-League, and the hosts even theoretically have no ambitions to participate in the playoffs.
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Melbourne City takes second place, which is very important for the team to maintain because one can directly promote to the playoff semifinals from the first two positions at the end of the season. Wellington Phoenix is only one point behind, but the team from Melbourne has played one game more. Everything suggests that there will be a struggle between these clubs for second place in the remaining matches. This season Melbourne City has eleven wins, four draws, and six losses. By the way, the last away defeat happened in the match against Wellington Phoenix. As for the last five head-to-head meetings with the Mariners, Melbourne City has three wins, one defeat, and one draw. Judging by the game shape and motivation of the team, the visitors have more chances to win, and I expect at least two goals scored by them.
Central Coast Mariners is in the last place in the standings and judging by a number of defeats, it is not going to change anything in its game. For Melbourne City, it is important to score the maximum number of points in each match to maintain second place. However, a team from Melbourne does not always succeed in earning three points because there are quite experienced clubs in the middle of the standings. It is hard to say how many goals Central Coast will score in response, but I expect a lot of attacks and about two goals scored from Melbourne City. But the most reliable option is to take a clean victory of the visitors.
Prediction for the match: Melbourne City to win