MX23RW : Thursday, August 5 00:32:52| >> :600:4099036:4099036:
Jun 12, 2021 at 10.05am UK at Central Coast Stadium
Central CoastCentral Coast Mariners

Hall (21'), Clisby (90+3')
Nigro (93' og.), Ruhs (120+1')
Milligan (37'), Martis (44'), M'Mombwa (95'), Susaeta (100'), Golec (106'), Ruhs (119')
Meredith (75')

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

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

For the fourth time since the turn of the year, Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur prepare to lock horns at the Central Coast Stadium on Saturday.

The home team came out on top in each of the three previous meetings, including a 2-1 win at the Campbelltown Stadium on May 27.

Match preview

Alen Stajcic, now in charge of Central Coast Mariners, pictured in 2019© Reuters

Central Coast Mariners defeated Western United 2-0 in their final A-league regular season fixture on Saturday.

Goals in either half from Jack Clisby and Marco Urena helped secure third position on the log with 42 points from 26 games.

The Mariners now prepare for their first playoff appearance since the 2013/14 campaign, when they were beaten in the semi-final by Western Sydney Wanderers.

Saturday's hosts finished bottom in four of the next five seasons before the appointment of Alen Stajcic on a full-time basis in May 2019.

They finished with the third-best defence in the regular season and will bank on that solidity at the back for a deep run into the post-season.

Ante Milicic, now in charge of Macarthur FC, pictured in 2019© Reuters

Macarthur FC ended their campaign with a 3-0 defeat against Wellington Phoenix on Friday.

David Ball, Tomer Hemed and Ben Waine were all on the scoresheet as Ante Milicic's men suffered a ninth defeat of the season.

The Bulls finished sixth in their debut season in the Australian top flight, but ended the season with only one win in the last four games.

Saturday's visitors also conceded the most goals of any team in the playoffs, which is an area that needs improvement if they are to excel at this level.

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

Macarthur Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Thirty-five-year-old Matt Simon is without a goal in his last four appearances for the hosts, which is his longest drought of the campaign.

Alongside Daniel De Silva, the duo have been responsible for three of the six goals scored by Central Coast Mariners against their visitors since the turn of the year.

Maximilien Balard is expected to come in for Gianni Stensness after the latter pulled up with a minor injury in his side's last outing.

Matt Derbyshire was involved in 19 of Macarthur's 33 goals during the regular season, making him their most influential player by a fair distance.

Loic Puyo will serve the first of a three-game suspension in this one after he was given his marching orders last time out.

Central Coast Mariners possible starting lineup:
Birighitti; Clisby, Rowles, Hall, Miller; Casella, Nisbet, Bouman, Balard; Kuol, Simon

Macarthur possible starting lineup:
Federechi; Meredith, Susnjar, McGing, Franjic; Milligan, Martis, M'Monbwa; Oar, Najjar, Ruhs

SM words green background

We say: Central Coast Mariners 2-0 Macarthur

The visitors have punched considerably above their weight since their promotion, but we are backing the hosts to emerge victorious in this one due to their level of experience at this stage.

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Daniel de Silva of the Glory controls the ball during the round four A-League match between Perth Glory and Sydney FC at nib Stadium on November 2, 2013
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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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