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Australian Football: Reds and Mariners battle for second

Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners go head-to-head in a do-or-die battle for second spot on the A-League ladder, while sixth place is also up for grabs.

There is one game of the A-League regular season to go and there is still all to play for as far as a number of teams are concerned. 

Three teams can still finish second but all could be decided in the opening game on Friday night when second-placed Adelaide take on the Mariners, who sit third. 

Western Sydney will be hoping for a draw in that game and a victory over Melbourne City that would see them claim second. 

Elsewhere Wellington Phoenix need a point to make sure of a place in the top six, with Perth Glory still in with a chance of pipping them. 

The Phoenix play Macarthur who need to win to have a chance of avoiding the first wooden spoon in their short history. 

Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory are not out of the woods just yet. Western United and Newcastle Jets need a miracle to make the top six and are playing for pride more than anything else.

Adelaide seeking change in fortunes

WhatAdelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
WhereCoopers Stadium, Adelaide
When19:45 (AEST) Friday 28th April, 2023
How to watchParamount+
OddsAdelaide United 2.37, Draw 3.75, Central Coast Mariners 2.62

Adelaide United looked to have second spot in the bag at one stage but they have hit a poor run of form at just the wrong time. 

Carl Veart’s men looked unbeatable a few weeks ago but have since lost one and drawn two in the last three games. 

They also leaked an uncharacteristic four goals in a thrilling 4-4 draw against Perth Glory at the weekend. The Reds snatched a point at the death in that game and it could turn out to be crucial. 

The Mariners are just one point behind and are in good form after winning three out of the last four games. Two of those have been on the road so they will be confident of picking up three points in Adelaide. 

Leading Mariners goalscorer Jason Cummings is sure to be a big threat once again and is priced at 2.00 to score anytime on Friday night. 

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Potential changes for City

WhatMelbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers
WhereAAMI Park, Melbourne
When19:45 (AEST) Friday 28th April, 2023
How to watchParamount+
OddsMelbourne City 1.80, Draw 3.80, Western Sydney Wanderers 3.75

Melbourne City are unbeaten in seven games and with the minor premiership already in the bag, they could be tempted to rest players ahead of finals. 

Western Sydney Wanderers will be going all out for the win as they are still in with a chance of taking second spot, which is crucial to their chances of going all the way to the grand final. 

These two sides have already fought out a 1-1 draw this season and under 2.5 goals on Friday can be backed at 2.30.  

Western Sydney are finding some nice form and have won their last two games, including a 4-0 win over Wellington Phoenix last start.

Pressure on at Campbelltown Stadium

WhatMacarthur FC v Wellington Phoenix
WhereCampbelltown Stadium, Sydney
When17:00 (AEST) Saturday 29th April, 2023
How to watchParamount+
OddsMacarthur FC 3.60, Draw 3.75, Wellington Phoenix 1.90

There is a huge amount riding on this game with Macarthur needing a win to have any chance of avoiding the wooden spoon, while the Phoenix are not yet assured of a place in finals. 

Both sides are also bang out of form and have not won in the last five games, meaning it could have draw written all over it. 

To make matters worse for Wellington they have been conceding goals for fun, when letting in 17 in the last five games. 

Macarthur have conceded two goals in each of the last four games and over 2.5 goals can be backed at 1.57

Perth cling to top-six hope

WhatPerth Glory v Western United FC
WhereHBF Park, Perth
When22:00 (AEST) Saturday 29th April, 2023
How to watchParamount+
OddsPerth Glory 1.90, Draw 3.60, Western United FC 3.50

Glory sit three points behind Wellington in sixth so need to pick up a big win over Western United to have any chance of going past the Nix and in to sixth spot. 

They did score four against Adelaide at the weekend, the problem being they also let four in. Glory are playing a Western side that has conceded more goals than any other team and over 2.5 goals can be backed at 1.57.  

Western have won just one game in the last six, but that did come away at Adelaide United and shows what they are capable of. 

Sydney finish off with Jets In the other two games, Sydney FC, who are assured a place in the top six, entertain Newcastle Jets, while Melbourne Victory take on Brisbane Roar. 

Both are still in danger of the wooden spoon if Macarthur were to beat Wellington.

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