Australian A1 league is one of the few soccer/football competitions in the world which are active at this moment. The opener of the round takes place in Gosford with the Central Coast Mariners awaiting one of the title contenders Melbourne City. Things are not looking good for the hosts who are last in the standings, while on the other side, City is in the battle for the second spot on the table and a direct semifinal spot in the playoffs. Still, many doubt in their quality, and this is the first test which will show us whether are they right or no.
CC Mariners (+475) are dead last in the standings, with just 13 points in 21 matches, which is seven fewer than the closest Melbourne Victory at the 10th place. At the moment, they have nine straight losses, which is one short of their negative record set during the previous season. With all due respect towards their players, this is, by far, the worst team in the A1 League, possibly in the recent five or six previous campaigns. Five of Mariners’ seven latest games saw over 2.5 goals, and just to inform you that in 15 straight, they couldn’t keep their net intact. Overall, they posted a single clean sheet since the start of the season. The total goal difference since mid-February is 3:15 throughout five events.
Melbourne City (-188) is under pressure, and they need to win consistently in the upcoming period. With 37 points, they are just one step ahead Wellington who sits third, but has a game in hand, which imposes an imperative of winning for the Citizens. In the previous 10 matches, they have five wins, three draws and two losses, but when looking at the games played on the road, things aren’t that great. Up until beating Perth Glory two weeks ago 2-3, they had four straight without a triumph (3L, 1D). The efficiency of their matches is inconsistent, but there is a pattern that applies only to the games played away from home. Four of the previous five saw both teams score and over 2.5 goals, which suggests that their defense isn’t that confident in front of rival’s fans.
Head to Head Games
Melbourne City demolished CC Mariners in the previous two games, 3-1, and 5-0, but both of them were at home. The last one played in Gosford finished with hosts winning 2-1. It was their first success after five events played at the Central Coast Stadium.
If they want to keep the second place, and after that win the title, the visitors simply have to win these sorts of battles. And not just win, they have to be routine. CC Mariners are the perfect victims for City, as they are the weakest team in the league, with the worst defense, meaning that we won’t even debate about any other possibility than them winning this contest. Covering a 1.5-goal spread that is beating the home team by two or more goal margin is out primary choice for this game. The odds are more than solid, +135. For one title contender, this is the minimum.
Pick: Melbourne City -1.5 +135
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.