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A-League: City target three in a row

Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners go head-to-head in a repeat of last season’s grand final, but that game will seem a long time ago for both teams.

The Mariners pulled off a shock 6-1 win in the grand final, but have suffered a dramatic fall of grace since then, while City have not done much better.

Both sides have changed head coach and have struggled to pick up wins in the opening seven games.

City are sitting seventh on the ladder and are priced at 5.00 to win the grand final, while Central Coast are three points behind them and are 17.00.

City and the Mariners both need the three points and we could be in for a cracker at AAMI Park on Sunday.

City on the up

WhatMelbourne City v Central Coast Mariners
WhereAAMI Park, Melbourne
When16:00 (AEST) Sunday 17th December
How to watchParamount+, 10Bold 
OddsMelbourne City 1.90, Draw 3.60, Central Coast Mariners 3.80

Melbourne City are showing signs of improvement after winning their last two games, both of which have been away from home.

A 2-0 win at Newcastle, followed by a 2-1 victory over Perth Glory, has got them back on track, but it is a far cry from where they want to be.

They remain five points away from Macarthur FC, who occupy top spot in the A-League, but there is still a long way to go.

City can be backed at 6.50 to win the minor premiership, and that is not beyond them if they can rediscover their best form. They certainly have the players.

For once City are struggling to score goals, they have just 10 so far this season. Only the bottom three clubs have scored less.

Meanwhile they have also leaked 13 goals, so it is no surprise to see where they are on the ladder.

Central Coast have scored just one more goal, so there is a chance we could be in for a low-scoring affair. With that in mind, under 2.5 goals in the game can be backed at 2.50.

Excluding the grand final, the two games before it were tight and low scoring. City won at home 1-0, while the reverse fixture on the Central Coast finished level at 1-1.

Another 1-1 draw can also be backed at 7.50.

Mariners undefeated in three

The Mariners are also starting to find their feet after losing the opening four games of the season. They are unbeaten in the last three, winning two of them.

After that poor start, finishing in the top six would have to be seen as an achievement, and they can be backed at 2.37 to make finals.

Central Coast have struggled to cope with the loss of star striker Jason Cummings, who moved on to pastures new after the grand final.

Kalou and Maclaren the dangers

Alou Kalou is their top scorer with three goals, and he can be backed at 3.25 to score at anytime on Sunday.

Jamie Maclaren is also struggling to fire and has just four so far. The Socceroos ace is priced at 1.61 to score at anytime.

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