Macarthur FC vs. Central Coast Mariners – A-League, May 27, 2021

| May 25, 2021 4:34 am PDT

Macarthur and Central Coast are locked on 36 points as the two sides prepare for a crucial top-six clash in Campbelltown on Thursday, May 27.

Having spent much of the season atop the A-League ladder, the Mariners have slipped to fourth following a stretch of two wins in 12 matches. Still, they have only suffered four losses in that time – picking up six draws along the way.

There is no denying that Macarthur is enjoying a more promising run at the moment. The Bulls head into Thursday’s clash on a six-game unbeaten streak and now sit four points inside the top six.

In this Macarthur FC vs. Central Coast Mariners betting preview, I look at the odds and give my prediction and pick for Thursday’s showdown.

Macarthur vs. Mariners Odds

Macarthur FC to Win2.50
The Draw3.35
Central Coast Mariners to Win2.70

As you can see, the top-rated sports betting sites can barely separate Macarthur and Central Coast. I mean, the two sides have an identical record (W10-D6-L7), so it is difficult to argue with the bookmakers’ viewpoint.

That said, the Mariners have already claimed a couple of 2-0 victories over the Bulls this year. Can the visitors upset the hosts once again?

Macarthur Team News and Analysis

Having lost just seven of their 23 matches this term, it’s safe to say that Ante Milicic’s men are enjoying an excellent maiden campaign in the A-League.

With three regular-season games remaining, the Bulls find themselves in complete control of their Finals Series bid – and a win on Thursday would all but secure a top-six finish for the expansion club.

A run of five defeats in nine games between February and April threatened to derail Macarthur’s season. But since then, the newcomers have managed to string together a six-match unbeaten streak – sealing two wins and four draws along the way.

The Bulls secure back-to-back wins over Melbourne Victory before completing two draws against Perth.

They also held Melbourne City – the 2020/21 A-League premiers – to a draw last month.

Matt Derbyshire scored AGAIN last time out, taking his tally to 14 goals in 23 appearances this term. Needless to say, the prolific Englishman has played a pivotal role in Macarthur’s eye-catching campaign.

A Closer Look at Central Coast

The Mariners gave a good account of themselves on Saturday, only to suffer a narrow 1-0 loss to Melbourne City. Alen Stajcic’s men enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and also had a goal disallowed following a VAR review, yet they were unable to spoil the premiers’ party.

After sealing back-to-back draws with Victory and Brisbane, Central Coast ended a six-match winless streak by seeing off Newcastle last week. But they swiftly returned to losing ways against City.

Although their results might not show it, the Mariners have still been producing solid performances in recent weeks. If they continue to battle, they will almost certainly reap the rewards.

Mark Birighitti has kept two clean sheets in his previous three appearances, meaning he now has seven shutouts to his name this season.

Only one goalkeeper – Sydney FC’s Andrew Redmayne – has achieved more shutouts than CCM’s gloveman in 2021.

With Marcos Urena (four goals, three assists) back from suspension, Matt Simon (ten goals, two assists) will be confident of adding his tally at the other end of the pitch.

My Macarthur vs. Mariners Betting Pick

  • The Draw

Central Coast has already beaten Macarthur twice this year, although a lot has changed since then. While the Mariners have endured a downturn in form, the Bulls have continued to climb.

Ultimately, this is destined to be a tight battle between two evenly-matched teams. With that in mind, the draw is my Macarthur vs. Central Coast Mariners prediction.

Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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