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Australian Football: Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners

Brisbane Roar will be out to end a run of five games without a win when they entertain the Central Coast Mariners in the opening game of Matchday 16 on Friday night.

Warren Moon’s side have lost four and drawn one of the last five and are in big danger of picking up the wooden spoon unless they can turn things around quickly.

They are priced at 4/1 to finish bottom of the ladder with Melbourne Victory 7/2.

It will not be easy against the Mariners who sit third on the ladder. Saying that the men from Gosford are also struggling to find a win at the moment after losing two and drawing one of the last three.

So there is plenty at stake for both sides as we head into the opening game of the weekend. There are some big games in Matchday 16, including the derby clash between Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC, and hopefully we will have another weekend full of goals and excitement.

Roar versus the Mariners is a good place to start so let’s take a closer look at the two sides with kick-off fast approaching.

What:Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners
Where:Dolphin Stadium, Brisbane
When:19:45 (AEST) Friday 10th February 2023
How to watch:Paramount+
Odds:17/10, Draw 12/5, Mariners 8/5

Goals an issue for Brisbane

Roar head into the game against the Mariners in need of a big three points but scoring goals has been an issue for them this season. They have scored just 11 goals in the 15 games they have played so far this season and that says it all.

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A look at the week ahead

Wanderers must return to winning ways

Brisbane were of course rocked by the sudden departure of Charlie Austin, the man brought in to solve their issues in front of goal, and they have not recovered from it. They have scored just one goal in the last four games but at the other end of the pitch they do tend to keep things tight.

Take away the 4-0 drubbing against Newcastle two weeks ago, and Brisbane do not tend to concede many goals. Taking both things into consideration under 2.5 goals in the game can be backed at 1/1.

Home advantage is usually crucial, but considering Brisbane have only won once at home this season, the Mariners will not be quaking in their boots.

Mariners can go second

Despite a poor run of results which has seen them fail to win in the last three games, Central Coast can go into second with a win on Friday night. Western Sydney Wanderers, who hold that spot are just one point ahead and play on Saturday.

It gives the Mariners a great opportunity to jump back above them and put the pressure on. They will need to improve though and their form away from home has not been great.

Indeed they have lost the last two on their travels and have only won two games away from Central Coast Stadium this season. Scoring goals has not been an issue for the Mariners this season, they have 31 and only Melbourne City with 33 have scored more.

It will be interesting to see if they can break down the stubborn Roar defence. Striker Jason Cummings is again the main threat and he chipped in with another two goals against Sydney FC last week.

The Socceroos ace can be backed at 7/4 to score any time during the game.

Team news

Brisbane could welcome back Robbie Kruse into the fold and his experience could be crucial as Roar look to get the win. The 34-year-old was lacking match fitness so Moon opted to leave him out of the 2-1 defeat to Adelaide United last week. 

However with another week of training under his belt Kruse is now likely to come into the starting eleven. Roar have also snapped up Stefan Scepovic and the 33-year-old Serbian attacker could be handed his debut against the Mariners.

Roar probable: Holmes; Neville, Aldred, Chapman; Hingert, Courtney-Perkins, Zabala, Trewin; O'Shea; Kruse, Knowles.

The Mariners will be without Brian Kaltack who will miss out through suspension following his red card against Sydney FC last week. That could mean new signing James McGarry, who arrives for the rest of the season, could make his debut in defence.

Apart from that boss Nick Montgomery is expected to name an unchanged line-up as he keeps faith with the players that have served him so well.

Mariners probable: Vukovic; Roux, Triantis, McGarry, Farrell; Nkololo, Nisbet, Steele, Kuol; Theoharous, Cummings.

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