The A-League returns to the fold with another round of matches this week as Central Coast Mariners takes on Wellington Phoenix on Tuesday.
Venue: Central Coast Stadium (Gosford)
Central Coast Mariners are unbeaten in their last six league games (W3, D3).
They have lost just one home game in the league this season, winning five times (D3).
Wellington Phoenix have one of the worst away record in the league this season, having won just one away game this season (D1, L5).
They have conceded 13 goals in their last five games.
Head to head
Wellington Phoenix have the upper hand in this fixture as they have won seven of the last ten head-to-head meetings between them. Central Coast Mariners have just two wins in that period (D1).
Latest performances in all competitions
CC Mariners: D-W-W-D-D
Wellington Phoenix: L-W-W-L-L
Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast Mariners took their unbeaten run in the league to six games last time out as they held Western United to a 2-2 draw.
In an entertaining game at Mars Stadium in Ballarat, Scottish striker Jason Cummings gave Central Coast Mariners the lead just before the first half break. But just one minute after the break, the hosts clawed a goal back when Noah Smith scored an own goal.
Serbian striker, Aleksandar Prijovic now put the hosts in front with a goal in the 63rd minute. But Jason Cummings equalised almost immediately for Mariners. The striker had an opportunity to complete his hat-trick and win the game for his side in the first minute of added time. But he could not convert his penalty and so both sides settled for a draw.
Nick Montgomery’s side will now hope they can move on from that draw and get a win in this game. They come into this round sitting eight on the table, five points behind sixth-placed Adelaide United, who have played three games more.
A win in this game will take them one point behind their visitors in the race for a top-six finish.
Possible CC Mariners starting line-up
Mark Birighitti; Jacob Farrell, Ruon Tongyik, Lewis Miller, Daniel Hall; Max Balard, Noah Smith, Josh Nisbet, Beni N’Kololo; Marco Urena, Jason Cummings.
Wellington Phoenix’s chances of finishing in the top six was dealt a huge blow last time out as they were beaten 6-0 by Melbourne City.
In a one-sided affair at the PointsBet Stadium in Sydney, an own-goal from New Zealand defender, Finn Surman in the 17th minute set the ball rolling, before five goals in the second half finished the job for City.
The result leaves them trailing sixth-placed Adelaide United by one point and with an unhealthy goal difference (-9).
With eight games to go, they still have the chance to finish inside the top six. But their chances of doing so hinges on how well they can perform in this game. A poor result here will impact negatively on their confidence and momentum going forward.
And so they will be desperate to get a good result and avoid losing a fourth match in six games.
Possible Wellington Phoenix starting line-up
Oliver Sail; Louis Fenton, Finn Surman, Scott Wootton, James McGarry; Nicholas Pennington, Joshua Laws, Walter Sandoval, Sam Sutton; David Ball, Ben Waine.
CC Mariners 2-1 Wellington Phoenix