MX23RW : Monday, May 17 03:56:57| >> :600:239626:239626:
Apr 17, 2021 at 8.05am UK at GMHBA Stadium
Western UtdWestern United
Central CoastCentral Coast Mariners
Pain (5')
Hamill (47'), Imai (86'), Duzel (87')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Tongyik (30'), Rowles (58')

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

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

Western United will look to bounce back to winning ways when they welcome Central Coast Mariners to the GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors will aim to remain in first place by the end of the game week, as their lead at the top of the table has been reduced to just one point after a poor run of results in recent weeks.

Match preview

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

Western United have been in good form of late, picking up three straight wins following their 2-1 loss to Macarthur back in February.

However, this run came to an end last Saturday, when they suffered a heartbreaking defeat against Wellington Phoenix.

In a five-goal thriller at the Sky Stadium, 19-year-old forward Ben Waine scored the decisive goal in the 90th minute to hand the Nix a 3-2 win.

Mark Rudan's men remain in eighth place, two points ahead of Wellington Phoenix, and five points adrift of Western Sydney Wanderers in the final playoff place.

Central Coast Mariners, meanwhile, still sit at the top of the A-League table, but they appear to have run out of steam in recent weeks.

In a lacklustre performance, Alen Stajcic's men were made to rue their wastefulness in front of goal as they shared the spoils with Western Sydney Wanderers last time out.

After trailing for the most part of the game, two goals in four minutes from Australian-born forward Bruce Kamau helped the Wanderers turn the game on its head in the 78th minute.

Veteran midfielder Oliver Bozanic spared the visitors' blushes when he scored from the penalty spot to restore parity in the 83rd minute.

Central Coast Mariners have now picked up three draws in their last five games and this has seen their lead at the top of the table reduced to just one point.

The results have been split right down the middle between Western United and Central Coast in their last four meetings, with each side claiming two victories.

Western United Australian A-League form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

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

Team News

Socceroos defender Joshua Risdon remains out of contention for the hosts after picking up a long-term tibia injury from Tom Aldred's tackle in the clash with Brisbane Roar back in August 2020.

He is joined on the treatment table by Sebastian Pasquali, who is sidelined with a hip injury, and other than that, Western United have every player available for Saturday's encounter.

The visitors will be without the services of the injured Lewis Miller, whose last appearance came in the 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix on February 14.

Stajcic has no fresh injury concerns, and we expect the 47-year-old to field his strongest side at the GMHBA Stadium.

Alou Kuol, who is the visitors' joint-top scorer in the league, will push for a place in the starting XI after impressive cameos off the bench in his last two outings.

Western United possible starting lineup:
Scott; Imai, Durante, Uskok; Pierias, Duzel, Lustica, Pain; Wales, Berisha, Guarrotxena

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

SM words green background

We say: Western United 1-2 Central Coast Mariners

With both sides evenly matched in form coming into this one, we predict a close and entertaining contest. Central Coast Mariners have stumbled in recent weeks, but we fancy them to grab all three points on Saturday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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