If Hyundai A-League points were distributed at half-time, it’s fair to say Central Coast Mariners would be in a far stronger position than they are right now.
It’s been another tumultuous campaign for the Gosford club, languishing eight-points adrift at the bottom of the ladder with just one win from 20 matches in 2018/19.
But the Mariners’ plight could be far better if they could finish games as strong as they start them.
Mike Mulvey’s men have led at the break in six of their last 10 Hyundai A-League matches.
And they have only managed to win one of the last nine games where they have taken an advantage to the break.
A big reason behind the Mariners’ late fadeouts is their inability to keep the opposition out.
They have conceded a league-high 48 gals this campaign and will be hoping to avoid conceding 50 goals in a season for the fourth time, more than any other club.
Central Coast can at least draw on the fact they are unbeaten in their last four Hyundai A-League home games against Saturday night’s opponents Wellington Phoenix.
But the sixth-placed Phoenix have won five of their last eight games between the two clubs at all venues, while Mark Rudan’s men have lost just one of their last six games on the road.
They’ll be desperate for all three points at Central Coast Stadium in this one to give themselves some breathing space from the fast-finishing Newcastle Jets.
Roar out to break year-long drought
Brisbane Roar played out one of the games of the Hyundai A-League season in their last outing, a thrilling 5-3 win over a nine-man Central Coast Mariners a fortnight ago.
That result has given Darren Davies’ troops the chance to register back-to-back wins if they can get over Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night.
If they can, it will be the first time since March of last year Roar have won two games on the bounce in the Hyundai A-League.
But it won’t be easy against a Wanderers side on their own three-game unbeaten run.
And the last two clashes between these sides this season have both ended in entertaining 2-2 draws.
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Roar’s recent goal glut has come despite the side registering just 80 shots on target all season, with only the last-placed Mariners managing less (76).
There should be a few goals in this one too, with the Wanderers’ last six away games in the Hyundai A-League seeing 30 goals scored.