Central Coast Mariners vs. Macarthur FC – A-League, June 12, 2021

By Ben Morris in Soccer
| June 10, 2021 9:55 am PDT

The Mariners welcome Macarthur to Central Coast Stadium this Saturday, June 12, for the first Elimination Final of the 2021 A-League Finals Series.

Alen Stajcic’s side finished third on the ladder – three points ahead of sixth-place Macarthur. However, both sides have continuously upset the A-League odds throughout the season.

Can the Mariners reach their first Grand Final since 2013? Or will the Bulls cap off an outstanding maiden A-League campaign in style?

After analyzing the teams, I will share my Central Coast Mariners vs. Macarthur FC prediction and betting pick.

Mariners vs. Macarthur Odds

Central Coast Mariners to Win2.00
The Draw3.60
Macarthur FC to Win3.45

The Mariners have only lost four of their 13 matches on home soil this year. With that in mind, it is no real surprise that all the top online sportsbooks favor Central Coast to win on Saturday.

Still, you would be foolish to write off Macarthur altogether. Ante Milicic’s men boast the best away record in the A-League and have picked up more road victories than anyone else this season.

Let’s take a closer look at the teams.

Can the Mariners Go All the Way?

Having finished rock bottom of the standings in four of the previous five seasons, the Mariners have exceeded all expectations this year.

Whatever happens between now and the end of the campaign, Stajcic’s men can be extremely proud of their efforts. But after making it to the finals, they will surely be desperate to extend their season on Saturday.

Following a run of eight wins in 11 matches at the beginning of the campaign, Central Coast only managed to pick up one win in their next ten outings. However, the Yellow & Navy have turned things around in recent weeks – securing three wins in their last five games.

The Mariners can take huge confidence from the fact that they have already beaten Macarthur three times this term. Not only did they score two goals on every occasion, but they also kept two clean sheets along the way.

Matt Simon holds the key to Central Coast’s chances of progressing. The veteran striker has bagged ten goals and three assists this season, while guys like Alou Kuol and Marcos Urena have shone around him.

Will Macarthur Spring Another Surprise?

While Simon is the Mariners’ main man, it could be argued that Matt Derbyshire is even more important to Macarthur’s chances of advancing to the last four.

The English forward has racked up a whopping 14 goals and five assists during his debut A-League campaign, averaging a goal involvement every 1.3 games.

Thanks largely to Derbyshire’s exploits, the Bulls haven’t struggled to find the back of the next this year.

However, they have conceded 36 goals in 2020/21 – meaning they have the second-worst defensive record in the top six.

Macarthur’s defensive frailties were exposed by Wellington last time out. The Nix crushed the Bulls 3-0 at Campbelltown Stadium, while Loic Puyo was sent off.

A six-match unbeaten streak across April and May saw Milicic’s men all but secure their Finals Series berth. But following a couple of iffy performances, they head into the finals on the back of two losses in three games.

Central Coast vs. Macarthur Betting Pick

  • Central Coast Mariners to Win

Let’s get one thing straight – foreseeing the outcome of this matchup is not easy. Neither side was expected to reach the Finals Series, yet both teams thoroughly deserve to be there.

I expect Macarthur to give the Mariners a run for their money on Saturday. That said, I’m confident that Central Coast will weather the storm and come out on top.

The Mariners have played some eye-catching soccer on home soil this year. If they are at their best when the Bulls come to town, they should be able to get the job done.