Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets - Saturday 5:15pm

The only game this week with nothing riding on it sees the bottom of the league Mariners host the Jets, who are down in 8th. The Mariners have lost 19 of their 26 matches this season whilst the Jets’ form has dropped off in recent weeks, losing four of their last five, as they’ve perhaps lost motivation in the knowledge that a place in the Finals was unachievable.

The Mariners managed to find the net in tough recent trips to Adelaide and the Wanderers but conceded four goals in each of those games and that sums up their season. They’ve managed to score in 20 of their 26 games but haven’t kept a clean sheet all season, conceding 66 goals (2.5 gpg). Their home record is W2-D2-L8 but they’ve only lost one of their last eight at the Central Coast Stadium by more than one goal. When hosting fellow bottom-three sides since the start of last season their record is W3-D1-L1, with that sole defeat a 1-0 loss against the Jets themselves earlier this season.

The Jets have been competitive throughout the season as they’ve only conceded more than two goals twice but they’ve really struggled for goals, managing just 24 (0.9 gpg), which is comfortably the lowest in the division. Their away record is W3-D3-L6 but they’ve only lost two of their last five on the road, managing draws at Brisbane and Victory while recording that 1-0 win over the Mariners. When travelling to fellow bottom-three teams since the start of last term their record reads W3-D1-L1, with that defeat a 1-0 loss against the Mariners on the opening day of last season.

Indeed, all five meetings between these two teams since the start of last season have had fewer than three goals, with three seeing fewer than two. Whilst the Mariners’ strength is their attack, the Jets are certainly stronger defensively and since these sides left with little to play for, they could almost cancel each other out and we may see a tight affair. Two of the Mariners’ last three at home had fewer than three goals, as have eight of the Jets’ last 10 on the road and so we’re backing ‘unders’ in this one. Centre-back Boogaard is suspended for the Jets, but they’ve managed to stay reasonably solid defensively without him, only conceding more than one goal against City of the five games he’s missed this term.

Recommendation: Under 2.5 Goals at 2.5

Get a boosted $7 for Fabio Ferriera to score a goal and Central Coast Mariners to win here

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Under 2.5 goals - 1pt @ 2.50