Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City – A-League Betting Preview and Prediction
Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City will clash on Wednesday, February 3 at the Central Coast Stadium in the final fixture of A-League Matchweek 6. It will mark their first meeting since March 2020, when City secured a convincing 4-2 victory in Gosford.
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Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City
When: Wednesday, February 3 at 19:00 AEDT
Where: Central Coast Stadium
Weather: Cloudy, 20 °C
Central Coast Mariners have suffered their second loss of the season on Sunday when they had to admit defeat to Wellington Phoenix. The match started with an early goal from Ulises Davila who scored his second goal of the season for Nix in the 15th minute, with Mariners responding in 41st with a goal of their own.
Mariners kept pushing for a goal in the second half, but despite their 54% possession and four shots on goal (15/4), they were unable to find the back of the net. Instead, it was Phoenix, who mustered up a game-winning goal in the 88th minute after the Mariners made a crucial mistake in the penalty box and left Jaushua Sotirio alone in front of their goalkeeper.
Melbourne City enter this match off a shocking 1-3 defeat against Perth Glory on Sunday, which marked their second loss from four games to open the season. Given the schedule Perth had to deal with ahead of this bout, it would make you believe City should have won with relative ease, but that, unfortunately, was not the case that day.
City’s only goal came in the 33rd minute via Jamie Maclaren, but they leaked three goals in 11th, 42nd and 84th minute even though they had a 63% ball possession and shot the ball 4/19. Despite what the final result would suggest, however, City hit the woodwork twice, so it’s not like they underperformed, but were rather somewhat unlucky not to secure at least a draw.
City have won 10 out of the previous 14 meetings with Mariners, which includes a 4-2 win in March 2020. That marked City’s third consecutive H2H win, having previously bested Mariners 3-1 and 5-0 in November and April 2019 respectively.
Despite City’s less-than-inspiring showing against Perth last time out, it’s very difficult to imagine Mariners walking away with a win. There is no denying the Mariners’ 3-0-2 record is fairly impressive, but you simply can’t look past City and the quality of players they field. What’s more, City historically do extremely well against Mariners and we don’t expect that to change this season.
That is not to say Mariners don’t stand a chance. If they manage to take advantage of their limited opportunities and show the same form they have in their opening two games of the season, they might walk away with something. That, however, is a big “WHAT IF”.
Much of the Mariners’ success will come down to the performances of Alou Kuol, who has scored three goals this season and twice in the Mariners’ last two outings. On the side of City, it’s their midfielder Adrián Luna will be the man to watch.
So far this season, he has produced three shot assists and helped create one big chance, while also completing 79% of his passes. Although he has yet to score a goal for his side, Luna is someone who can help City get a commanding lead against the Mariners. And while it remains to be seen whether he will step up on Wednesday, he will no doubt have a big impact on the outcome of the game.
Prediction: Melbourne City to win – 2.12 at Pinnacle