Central Coast Mariners vs Sydney FC Prediction: No sweat for CCM against Sky Blues

 | Friday 17th May 2024, 10:45am

Friday 17th May 2024, 10:45am

A historic treble is well and truly on the cards for Central Coast Mariners ahead of their Australian A-League Men's semi-final second leg against Sydney FC at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday (10:45, TNT Sports 2). Last week's first leg in Sydney saw Mark Jackson's side come from behind to run out 2-1 winners, and they will be confident of completing the job on home turf this week.

My Central Coast Mariners vs Sydney FC prediction for Saturday's match can be found below as the teams battle it out to play either Wellington Phoenix or Melbourne Victory in the Grand Final.

Central Coast Mariners vs Sydney FC Betting Tips

  • Central Coast Mariners to win @ 6/5
  • Highest scoring half - second half @ 1/1

Team News

The Mariners have added Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Miguel Di Pizio to an otherwise unchanged extended squad, and Jackson could name the same starting XI.

Joe Lolley, Sasha Kuzevski and Noah Smith remain sidelined through injury, while Angel Torres continues to serve a no-fault suspension after being charged with sexual assault.

Sydney FC will be without banned duo Jack Rodwell and Corey Hollman after their respective red cards in last week's first leg, and that could pave the way for Max Burgess and Fabio Gomes to start.

Ufuk Talay fielded a pretty defensive-minded side in Sydney, including no recognised striker, and the inclusion of Gomes on Saturday would allow Robert Mak to play wider.

Rodwell's absence should mean Jack Girdwood-Reich, who looks to have recovered from the thigh problem which forced him off after just 19 minutes last week, dropping back into a four-man defence alongside teenager Hayden Matthews.

Alternatively, 24-year-old Brazilian Gabriel Lacerda could come into the backline to start for the first time since April 20.

Central Coast Mariners vs Sydney FC Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Central Coast Mariners vs Sydney FC page on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this match.

The Mariners are 6/5 to triumph over Sydney FC for the second time in just over a week, giving them an implied win probability of 45.5%, while the visitors can be backed at 7/4, or a 36.4% chance, to secure the victory they need to at least take the tie to extra time.

A draw, which is available at 5/2, wouldn't be enough for them.

The sides have met four times already this season - once in the Australia Cup - and both teams to score has landed on three occasions; it's 8/5 for both to net again.

A 2-1 win for Sydney FC would ensure another 30 minutes of action - and potentially penalties - is required, and you can find that scoreline priced up at 17/2.

Central Coast Mariners to win @ 6/5

Sydney FC took the lead through Joel King on 25 minutes last week, but that was as good as it got for them as the Mariners' pressure proved too much. Josh Nisbet levelled in first-half stoppage time and it took Mikael Doka less than 11 minutes in the second half to put CCM ahead via the penalty spot.

After that, events went rapidly downhill for the Sky Blues, who were reduced to 10 men in the 63rd minute after VAR intervened on a Rodwell challenge, and nine men in the 82nd minute as Hollman received his second yellow card.

The absence of Rodwell shouldn't hit them too hard, with several capable deputies in defence, but they will miss Hollman, especially as they are still without their best player, ex-Nottingham Forest winger Lolley, whose injury in the Elimination Final win over Macarthur FC curtailed his season.

Without him in the side, I just don't see where the magic will come from to overturn a first-leg deficit against the Premiers' Plate holders, who have won their last seven homes games across all competitions.

The Mariners, who also lifted the AFC Cup after beating Al-Ahed in the final earlier this month, have kept clean sheets in two of their last four A-League Men's games at Central Coast Stadium.

Sydney FC only picked up 15 points from 14 away outings in the regular season, and their 3-1 victory at Saturday's venue in February was achieved with Lolley in the side.

I think the hosts will be able to record another win against the Sky Blues on Saturday and advance to the Grand Final without much of a sweat.

Central Coast Mariners to beat Sydney FC at 6-5

Highest scoring half - second half @ 1/1

The first leg saw two goals struck in the first half and just one in the second, but after the first red card, Sydney FC were happy just to contain, as evidenced in the single shot they attempted, while the Mariners were equally content to take a lead back to Gosford.

This time around, I see a less eventful first half, where CCM will be patient in their attempts to strengthen their advantage, while the visitors won't want to be out of the picture early on away from home.

Talay's side only need one goal to force extra time, and thus I think they will bide their time before really going for it in the second 45 minutes.

Three of the Mariners' last four games at home in the A-League Men's have seen more goals in the second half, and that could be the way it plays out again on Saturday.

Highest-scoring half - second half in Central Coast Mariners vs Sydney FC at 1-1

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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