Central Coast Mariners will clash with Macarthur FC at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday, June 12 in the quarter-finals of the 2020/21 A-League season. These two sides last met in Gosford in March, when the hosts won 2-0 and later added another 2-1 victory on the road. This time out, however, things could play out differently.
Central Coast Mariners vs Macarthur FC
When: Saturday, June 12 – 19:05 AEST
Where: Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, New South Wales
Weather: Clear, 11°C
The first day of the 2020/21 A-League Playoffs will serve us with a clash between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur FC. The two will meet in the Elimination Finals, a round featuring teams that finished third to sixth in the regular season.
Central Coast Mariners finished in third, narrowly missing out on automatic qualification for the A-League semi-finals. Because of this, they get to play against the team that booked the last available playoffs spot, Macarthur FC.
The fact that Central Coast Mariners finished higher than Macarthur FC doesn’t mean too much, as the difference between the two was only three points.
Central Coast Mariners Don’t Seem to Cope Well Under Pressure
Central Coast Mariners lost to Newcastle Jets on Saturday, June 5, and with that, missed out on a chance to receive a direct bye into the playoffs. Their frustration was obvious in their game against Western United, which the Mariners won 2-0, but it wasn’t a clean showing from them.
Heading into this match, the Mariners will be well aware that they traditionally struggle against the top teams, which could be a problem. During the regular season, Mariners lost at least once to four of the top five teams.
On a more positive note, the Mariners have a pretty good head-to-head record against Macarthur FC.
Central Coast Mariners won each of their three h2h meetings in 2021. And since Macarthur FC are a brand-new franchise, Mariners theoretically haven’t lost to the Bulls once in their history.
Macarthur FC Hopeful of Achieving Glory in the Debut Season
Macarthur FC did well in their debut year in the A-League. Despite losing against Wellington Phoenix in the round of the regular season, Macarthur still managed to squeeze their way into the postseason.
Had they won that game, the Bulls could’ve finished in third and overtake Central Coast Mariners.
Nevertheless, they’re in the Elimination Finals now, and you can’t deny that they deserve to be here. The franchise was created with the intention of achieving success ASAP. The club management signed a number of experienced players, who likely aren’t going to play for much longer.
The best example is Mark Milligan, the former Socceroos’ skipper, who’s set to retire after this season. The 35-year-old has been sensational throughout the year and will play a major role against Central Coast Mariners in the middle of the pitch.
Over in the final third, there’s another 35-year-old, Matt Derbyshire, who was their top-scorer in the regular season, with 14 goals in 25 matches. And between the posts, Bulls field a 36-year-old Adam Federici, who featured in each regular-season game Macarthur FC played.
With so much experience on the roster, Macarthur FC need to be thought of as the favorites against Central Coast Mariners. In fact, many think of them as a dark horse for the title.
Central Coast Mariners vs Macarthur FC Betting Picks
It’s going to be perfect weather for football on Saturday, which is another reason why we can expect an interesting game.
It’s going to be a close one, that’s for sure, but Macarthur FC’s experienced lineup should give them the little boost to edge out a win and advance into the A-League semi-finals.
Prediction: Macarthur FC +0.50 Asian Handicap
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