The hosts have lost their last three consecutive matches, while Alen Stajcic's men have picked up nine points from a possible nine in recent weeks.
Adelaide made a decent start to the new campaign, losing just one of their opening four fixtures.
However, the Reds have struggled for any sort of form of late, conceding nine goals and scoring just two in reply as they have fallen to three back-to-back defeats.
Carl Veart's side have leaked 14 efforts in total after just seven top-flight outings. That dire record means that Adelaide have the worst defensive record in the division and is an area of serious concern for their newly-appointed head coach.
The Coopers Stadium outfit missed out on last season's playoffs by a single point and would have been hoping to go one better this time around.
If Veart is going to turn his team's fortunes around and mount a serious playoff push, then he will have to address their issues at the back as soon as possible, although starting on Friday against the league leaders may be too big an ask.
It has been quite the turnaround for the Mariners in 2020-21. They finished bottom of the A-League last season, winning just five games all campaign, and many expected them to struggle once again.
Now, though, the Central Coast Mariners are sitting pretty at the top of the table after collecting 18 points from a possible 24.
They have been in tremendous form of late, winning their previous three encounters, scoring eight goals in the process.
Teenage striker Alou Kuol has been the main man at the Central Coast Stadium, bagging five goals already this season despite only starting four matches.
The 19-year-old will be hoping he receives a recall to the starting XI on Friday after having to make do with a place on the bench last time out.
Adelaide United Australian A-League form: WLWLLL
Central Coast Mariners Australian A-League form: LWLWWW
Adelaide will once again be without versatile winger Ryan Kitto, with the 26-year-old yet to recover from injury.
The Central Coast Mariners have the luxury of a fully-fit squad to choose from coming into this clash and will be confident of keeping their momentum going.
Adelaide United possible starting lineup:
Delianov; Smith, Jakobsen, Elsey, Strain; Caletti, D'Arrigo; Dukuly, Mauk, Halloran; Juric
Central Coast Mariners possible starting lineup:
Birighitti; Clisby, Rowles, Tongyik, Nigro; Bouman, Stensness, Bozanic, De Silva; Kuol, Simon
We say: Adelaide United 1-3 Central Coast Mariners
Adelaide are struggling to keep clean sheets, while the Mariners are scoring for fun. We can only see this ending one way, and the result should reflect the opposing recent form of the two teams. We fancy the league leaders to come away from the Coopers Stadium with all three points and maintain their title tilt.