Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC – A-League, April 24, 2021

By Ben Morris in Soccer
| April 23, 2021 4:38 am PDT

It feels like the result of this clash is destined to have a big say in the outcome of the 2021 A-League premiership race.

Second-place Central Coast welcomes fourth-place Sydney FC to Gosford on Saturday, April 24, with just three points separating the two sides on the ladder.

If you’re betting on Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC, keeping reading to find my prediction and pick for Saturday’s showdown.

First up, let’s check out the A-League odds.

Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC Odds

Central Coast Mariners to Win2.80
The Draw3.50
Sydney FC to Win2.35

Of course, Sydney FC is the rightful favorite to win this one. But the narrow odds gap is a testament to Central Coast’s remarkable persistence this season.

Let’s face it – nobody expected the Mariners to be in this position. However, they have consistently upset the odds throughout the campaign.

Given that Central Coast beat the defending champions in Sydney back in January, the price for the home win looks very attractive this time around.

Assessing the Mariners’ Form

Having won eight of their opening 11 matches this term, the Mariners went from last-place candidates to premiership contenders in a matter of weeks.

Sure, they have only managed to win one of their six games since then. But they are still in a strong position.

It is worth noting that Stajcic’s men have drawn three of their previous six outings. The wins may have dried up for now, but they are still finding ways to avoid defeat.

The Mariners only saw 41% possession in the reverse fixture, while Sydney FC chalked up 12 shots. Still, they benefitted from Ben Warland’s own goal early in the second half, before Alou Kuol completed the job late on.

Teenager Kuol – who will join German Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart at the end of the season – has bagged seven goals and two assists during his breakout year, while veteran Matt Simon boasts an identical record.

If the forward duo continues to shine, Central Coast will continue to pick up points.

Sydney FC Team Analysis

Unlike the Mariners, Sydney FC made a slow start to the season. The reigning champs managed just three wins in their opening eight matches – recording two draws and three defeats along the way.

However, Steve Corica’s men have now lost just one of their last nine games.

Having sealed four wins in a six-match hot streak, the Sky Blue’s head into Saturday’s clash on the back of two straight draws. It goes without saying that they will be eager to return to winning ways.

Kosta Barbarouses only managed to score three goals in his first 11 appearances this term, but he has since netted four goals in his previous four outings.

Bobo has also discovered his scoring boots recently. The Brazilian striker has bagged six goals in his last nine games – including a brace in last weekends 2-2 draw against Adelaide United.

At the other end of the pitch, Andrew Redmayne has kept two clean sheets in his last four matches.

Mariners vs. Sydney FC Betting Pick

Pick
  • The Draw
    3.50

Yes, Central Coast managed to beat Sydney FC 2-0 earlier in the season. But a lot has changed since then. The Mariners have not been at their best of late, while Corica’s men have gathered some serious momentum.

That said, the Mariners have drawn three of their previous six matches. Given that Sydney is also heading into Saturday’s clash on a two-game drawing streak, I expect the points to be shared in Gosford.

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