Fresh from celebrating a shock success over Al Hilal in the Asian Champions League, Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Warriors need to get their A-League campaign back on track following several fixtures in which key players were rested.
Fortunately in visitors Central Coast Mariners they have an opponent who has proven dodgier than a Neighbours storyline involving Harold Bishop and his infamous tuba in recent weeks.
And while the 15/4 offered on the visitors picking up a shock win or the 12/5 available on a draw may tempt, we fancy the 7/10 favourites and hosts to pick up a first victory of the season and have picked out three bets to back that claim up.
One of the key components of the Warriors’ success under Popovic has been their ability to grind out results when required, particularly in the Asian Champions League where they made a real habit of winning to nil.
Kawasaki Frontale, Ulsan, Guizhou Renhe, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, FC Seoul and Guangzhou Evergrande were all beaten in games during which the Warriors kept clean sheets before their most recent 1-0 triumph over Al Hilal in the first leg of the final.
With all three of their previous wins over the Mariners coming to nil, it could pay to back a repeat.
One of the Mariners’ biggest problems in recent times has been their penchant for shipping early goals with the Central Coast club going in behind at the break in four of their last five games during a run that has seen the club take one point from the last 15 available.
With the Warriors going in up at the break in their two most recent wins over the visitors, backing the hosts and favourites to ram home their superiority from the start could pay serious dividends.
The perfect accompaniment to the two bets previous tipped, the Warriors have beaten Central Coast 2-0 in both of their most recent meetings in Sydney and with the Mariners shipping exactly two goals in four of their last five games, here’s hoping for a bit of déjà vu down under.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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