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A-League: All still to play for in semi-final ties

Both A-League semi-finals are on a knife-edge heading into the second leg showdowns, which take place on Saturday evening.

With the first legs done and dusted there is nothing to separate Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory following a goalless draw.

In the other semi-final, Central Coast Mariners picked up a 2-1 win at Sydney FC and are in the box seat heading back to home turf.

But this is finals football and the Mariners, who are 2.10 to go on and win the grand final, will be taking nothing for granted.

The Victory are priced at 3.75 to win the grand final, Phoenix 4.50, while Sydney are the outsiders at 7.50.

Nix hoping to use home comforts

. What: Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory
. Where: Sky Stadium, Wellington
. When: 17:30, Saturday 18th May 2024
. How to watch: Paramount+
. Odds: Wellington Phoenix 2.75, Draw 3.40, Melbourne Victory 2.50

Phoenix will be satisfied to return home from Melbourne with the score level at 0-0, but the job is not done yet.

Victory would have preferred to have taken some kind of advantage into the second leg, but they are still very much in the tie and will be confident of getting the result they need.

The two sides met each other on two occasions in the regular season, and both games were played at Sky Stadium.

Phoenix won the April encounter 1-0, while the other clash in February finished in a 1-1 draw.

The second leg on Saturday is all set up to be another tight one and under 2.5 goals in the game can be backed at 2.00.

Two of the hottest strikers in the A-League this season will be on show once again. Bruno Fornaroli has scored 18 goals for Victory this season and can be backed at 2.60 to score at anytime.

Kosta Barbarouses has 13 goals to his name for Phoenix this season and is priced at 3.00 to score at anytime.

Mariners in the box seat

. What: Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
. Where: Industree Group Stadium, NSW
. When: 20:45, Saturday 18th May 2024
. How to watch: Paramount+, 10Bold
. Odds: Central Coast Mariners 2.25, Draw 3.80, Sydney FC 2.87

The Mariners are in pole position heading into Saturday night’s clash after winning 2-1 at Allianz Stadium.

However, Sydney FC have already proven they can win on the Mariners’ own turf when running out 3-1 winners at Industree Group Stadium in February.

Games between the two sides are usually high-scoring affairs with five of the last six meetings resulting in more than 2.5 goals.

Over 2.5 goals on Saturday can be backed at 1.61, while both teams to score is available at 1.53.

Joel King has a good record of scoring against the Mariners, notching in each of the last two meetings and is priced at 11.00 to score at anytime.

The Mariners have goals all over the park, but it is Alou Kuol who remains the biggest threat and is priced at 6.50 to score first.

Sydney will have to do without the services of Jack Rodwell and Corey Holman, who both saw red in the home defeat in the first leg.

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