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Jan 22, 2021 at 8.05am UK
Sydney FCSydney FC
0-2
Central CoastCentral Coast Mariners

Retre (36')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Warland (53' og.), Kuol (74')
Bouman (43'), Simon (45+1')
/esi/1339/6_G_1_130062/index.html?art_id=431294&game_id=130062&sport_id=1&ESI

Preview: Sydney FC vs. Central Coast Mariners - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sydney FC vs. Central Coast Mariners - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Australian A-League clash between Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Central Coast Mariners face Sydney FC on Friday with the chance to move to the top of the A-League standings.

However, the home side, who have played one game fewer than their next opponents, will move ahead of the Mariners in the table with victory at the Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.


Match preview

Having finished at the bottom of last season's standings, Central Coast Mariners have undoubtedly been the surprise package of the opening weeks of the new A-League campaign.

Suffering a late defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers earlier this week came as a blow to Alen Stajcic and his squad, but they will still be delighted with six points from three games.

While that is already a third of last season's total, Stajcic will now have ambitions of becoming a force at the right end of the table, and a fixture against the champions has arguably come at the right time.

Just three goals have been scored in as many games, but Stajcic will prefer to focus on the positives of shipping just one strike in 270 minutes of football.

The visitors face their biggest test of the early weeks in the form of Sydney, who will be content with collecting four points from their first two games.

Like their next opponents, they were unable to get the better of Western Sydney, but a 2-1 success at Wellington Phoenix had previously gotten them off to the perfect start.

With each of the 12 A-League clubs having already dropped points this season, Steve Corica will be prioritising keeping his side in the mix at a time when they have two matches in hand on the leaders.

Nevertheless, overcoming the Mariners on Friday would make a statement to the other contenders as they bid to win a fourth title in five attempts.

Sydney FC Australian A-League form: WD

Central Coast Mariners Australian A-League form: WWL


Team News

Corica could name the same side which started Sydney's 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers.

Luke Ivanovic and Alexander Baumjohann are both pushing for their first starts of the season after being introduced as substitutes in the last two fixtures.

Daniel Bouman and Marco Urena could be brought into the Mariners XI if Stajcic opts to make changes to his side.

Jordan Smylie will also feel that he has done enough to earn an opportunity after scoring one of the club's three goals this season.

Sydney FC possible starting lineup:
Redmayne; King, Warland, Wilkinson, Grant; Caceres, Brattan, Retre, Ninkovic; Barbarouses, Buhagiar

Central Coast Mariners possible starting lineup:
Birighitti; Nigro, Tongyik, Rowles, Clisby; Nisbit, Bozanic, Stensness, De Silva; Urena, Smylie


We say: Sydney FC 1-2 Central Coast Mariners

After a positive start to the campaign, Sydney will back themselves to extend their unbeaten record on Friday. However, the Mariners look like a team who can contend for this league's league crown, and we are backing the visitors to record their second away win in succession.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



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