Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Victory - Friday 19:40, Fox Sports 4

Both these sides were in dire need of a win heading into the last gameweek and they duly obliged, with the Mariners beating the Phoenix to end a run of six straight defeats, while the Victory broke a spell of four defeats and a draw as they were narrow 1-0 victors at the Jets. As a result, the Mariners have reduced the gap to Perth in ninth to four points, whilst the Victory are now just seven points behind leaders Brisbane and the Wanderers.

The Mariners’ win over Wellington was only their second of the season, but they’re still yet to find an elusive first clean sheet, conceding 29 goals from their 13 games as they’ve been comfortably the worst side defensively in the division. They have however managed to score in 11 of their matches as only the current top two have stopped them scoring. Their record at home to top-half sides since the start of last season is W1-D1-L9 with six of these defeats by at least two goals as they failed to score in five. Furthermore they’ve been hit by a retrospective ban to their main striker and top goalscorer Roy O’Donovan, following a head-butt against the Phoenix, with Danny Heffernan, who’s yet to find the net this season, or youngster Josh Bingham likely to deputise.

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Victory took until the 71st minute to break the Jets down and they’ve really struggled for goals in recent times, scoring just three in their last six. They face their sixth away match in seven games here in what has been a tough schedule and will hope to rekindle the form they showed last season on the road to bottom-four sides when they had a W5-D1-L0 record. This season they’ve already lost at Perth and the Jets, but they have won their last six meetings with the Mariners, including a 3-0 and a 3-1 win in the away games.

Despite that, we’re still not convinced that the Champions are back to their best and instead the best bet looks to be in the goals markets as six of Victory’s eight away games this season have had fewer than three goals with half having fewer than two, while three of the Mariners’ last five at home also had fewer than three strikes and without their top goalscorer they could struggle to find the net in this one, while Victory are hardly in free-scoring form themselves.

Under 2.5 Goals - 1pt @ 2.5