A-League Preview: Central Coast v City

The clash

Melbourne City FC will be out to keep its unbeaten streak alive when it travels to Central Coast to take on the Mariners this Friday evening. 

City had won its previous two games in a row before being held to a 1-1 draw last week by a resilient Western Sydney Wanderers.

Tate Russell opened the scoring for the visitors in the 21st minute before Jamie Maclaren levelled things up from the penalty spot less than 10 minutes later.

Due to the current state of COVID-19, this weekend’s match and all fixtures for the foreseeable future will be played behind closed doors.

This could prove to be an advantage for City given three of the Mariners four wins this season have been at home in front of their own fans.

It’s been a difficult season thus far for Central Coast and it has only gotten worse as of late with the team having lost 11 of its last 12 matches.

That being said, they still do have quality players in the line-up and if City aren’t at the top of their game, the Mariners are more than capable of getting the job done despite their recent form.

Having dropped points last week, this shapes up to be a massive game for City as it looks to maintain its hold on second spot and gain some breathing room with just five games remaining before finals.

Central Coast’s defence has been the worst of any team this season and with the likes of Jamie Maclaren and Craig Noone along with Adrian Luna who will return from suspension, City will be looking to attack and put the defence under pressure early.

Last time they met

These teams have met once this season which was back in round five at AAMI Park, with City coming away with the three points in a comfortable 3-1 win.

Curtis Good found the back of the net from a corner in the 17th minute to open scoring for City before Adrian Luna and Rostyn Griffiths both got on the scoresheet in the second half. Jordan Murray hit back in the 89th minute for the Mariners but it was too little too late.

Team news

Adrian Luna and Rostyn Griffiths both return to the squad this week after having served their suspensions.

What’s next?

Melbourne City face back-to-back away trips, taking on Newcastle Jets on Monday 23 March following Friday's clash with the Mariners, before returning to Melbourne to host Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Friday 27 March, kick off 7:30pm.