MX23RW : Tuesday, May 18 21:06:16| >> :600:387786:387786:
Apr 24, 2021 at 8.05am UK at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Central CoastCentral Coast Mariners
Sydney FCSydney FC
Urena (6'), Simon (41')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Ninkovic (45+2'), Buhagiar (83')

Preview: Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Australian A-League clash between Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Central Coast Mariners will be aiming to return to winning ways when they welcome Sydney FC to the Central Coast Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors head into this tie unbeaten in their last four outings after claiming a 2-2 draw with Adelaide United last Sunday and will look to keep that fine run going.

Match preview

Sydney FC players pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Central Coast Mariners' recent struggles continued last week as they fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Western United.

In an end-to-end affair at the ‎GMHBA Stadium, Connor Pain's fifth-minute strike was all that separated the two sides as the hosts held on for a narrow victory.

Central Coast Mariners have run out of steam in recent weeks and their poor run of results has seen them lose their position at the top of the table to Melbourne City.

The Mariners have only managed one win in their last six games and are now level on points with Adelaide United in second place.

Meanwhile, Sydney picked up a second straight draw as they were forced to share the spoils with Adelaide United last time out.

The defending champions raced to a two-goal lead thanks to a brace from veteran striker Bobo, but goals from Jordan Elsey and Tomi Juric helped the Reds come from behind to grab a point.

However, after a slow start to the season, the Sky Blues now occupy the fourth position in the league and look set to mount a proper title defence.

They are unbeaten in eight of their last nine games and have picked up 16 points in that time.

Sydney are just four points adrift of league leaders Melbourne City and will feel confident reducing that gap on Saturday as they travel to the Central Coast Stadium, where they have won in each of their last three visits.

Central Coast Mariners Australian A-League form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

Sydney FC Australian A-League form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Team News

Sydney FC head coach Steve Corica pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Alen Stajcic has the luxury of a fully fit squad at his disposal, and we expect the 47-year-old to make some changes to the starting side from last time out.

With seven goals and two assists to his name, Alou Kuol will push for his fifth starting appearance of the season at the expense of the misfiring Marco Urena.

Meanwhile, Sydney will be without the suspended Rhyan Grant, who received a straight red in the game against Adelaide United.

Left-back Michael Zullo remains ruled out with a calf injury which has kept him out of action since the turn of the year.

Central Coast Mariners possible starting lineup:
Birighitti; Nigro, Tongyik, Rowles, Clisby; Boumann, Bozanic, Stensness, Da Silva; Kuol, Urena

Sydney FC possible starting lineup:
Redmayne; King, McGowan, Wilkinson, Grant; Brattan, Baumjohann, Ninkovic, Retre; Barbarouses, Bobo

SM words green background

We say: Central Coast Mariners 1-2 Sydney FC

Central Coast Mariners have struggled at home against Sydney in their recent encounters, and we predict that run continues on Saturday.

The visitors come into the tie with a more experienced squad and should be able to claim the win and keep their title hopes alive.

Top tip

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