Central Coast Mariners vs Wellington Phoenix Prediction: Leaders to lose tag in Gosford

 | April 04 | 

4 mins read

A top-of-the-table clash takes place in Gosford this Saturday (KO, 07:30) as Central Coast Mariners host Wellington Phoenix at the Central Coast Stadium. The Mariners currently trail the Nix by three points in the race for the Premiership title but will overtake their opponents with victory this weekend, courtesy of the A-Leagues' peculiar rule stating total wins is the first separator when sides are level on points.

We've taken a closer look at this Australian A-League Men's match below, which is live on TNT Sports, and given our Central Coast Mariners vs Wellington Phoenix prediction. With four games remaining of the regular season, the battle for the trophy is well and truly on.

Central Coast Mariners vs Wellington Phoenix Betting Tips

  • Central Coast Mariners to win and over 2.5 goals @ 6/4
  • #PickYourPunt - Both teams to score & each team 20 or more booking points @ 11/8

Team News

Central Coast Mariners are still without key defender Jacob Farrell, who has missed the last three matches through injury.

There are decisions in attack for head coach Mark Jackson, who would've been impressed by the performance of half-time substitute Christian Theoharous against Melbourne City. The 24-year-old won the penalty - converted by Angel Torres - for his side's equaliser, and was a constant menace in attack.

Brad Tapp and Alou Kuol will also be knocking on the door for starts after joining Theoharous for the second 45-plus minutes on Tuesday.

Wellington Phoenix will be without a crucial player themselves on Saturday as Alex Rufer, who has made the joint-most tackles in the A-League Men's (50) and made the second-most interceptions (42, behind only Farrell), is serving a one-match ban for a straight red card picked up in last weekend's win over Brisbane Roar.

Youngsters Fin Conchie and Matthew Sheridan are options to replace Rufer in midfield, while Ben Old could also earn a start after a lively substitute appearance on Sunday.

Tim Payne and last season's top scorer Oskar Zawada are still out injured.

Match Odds

The hosts are 4/6 - or a 60% chance - to break out of a winless four-game run against the Nix, who are 10/3 - or a 23.1% chance - to stretch their lead to six points at the top.

The draw can be backed at 13/5 and it's 7/4 for over 3.5 goals.

Central Coast Mariners to win and over 2.5 goals @ 6/4

Sydney FC are the only side to have beaten the Mariners (twice) in 2024, and it's a similar story for the Nix, who have only tasted defeat to Melbourne City.

There's very little to separate the teams heading into Friday with both at the top of the form table over the past five (CCM - 12 points, the Nix - 10) and 10 games (CCM - 22, the Nix - 21), but home advantage might just swing it in the Mariners' favour.

They've won six of their last seven (all competitions) at the Central Coast Stadium, while the New Zealand club have only won one of their last four away from Wellington.

Nine of CCM's 12 home games this season have seen at least three goals scored, and Jackson's side have won five of them.

#PickYourPunt - Both teams to score & each team 20 or more booking points @ 11/8

Despite collecting 23 points at home - more than every other side except the Nix (26) - only five clubs have conceded more goals at home than the Mariners (15), who have kept just three clean sheets in 12 games.

Saturday's visitors to Gosford haven't found the net in their last two away games but they had scored in nine of their 10 before that.

The sides played out a goalless draw in Wellington in February but both teams struck in the last three matches prior to that.

Meanwhile, this crunch clash at the top could produce plenty of cards as it pairs two of the most ill-disciplined teams in the league against each other.

Only Macarthur FC (56) have accrued more yellow cards than the Mariners (46), and the Nix are joint-third with Western United and Brisbane Roar (all 42).

Three of the last five head-to-heads have seen both sides pick up at least 20 booking points; with Betfred, a yellow card is worth 10 points and a red card 25 points, as detailed by my colleague Neil Monnery in this handy guide.

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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