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Australian Football: Reds must overcome Mariners hoodoo

Adelaide United will have to turn the tables on Central Coast Mariners if they are to knock them out of the semi-final over two legs and book their place in the grand final.

Adelaide, who finished third on the ladder, made the semi-final courtesy of a 2-0 elimination final win over Wellington Phoenix. 

The Mariners had a week off after finishing second at the end of the regular season and should be refreshed and ready to go. 

Central Coast have had the upper-hand over Adelaide so far this season, but all that should count for little now that we are in finals. 

You can wipe the slate clean and both sides will be fired up to book their place in the grand final, where they will play the winner of Sydney FC and Melbourne City. 

The second leg will take place at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday 20th May, but first up an intriguing battle is on the cards at Coopers Stadium in Adelaide.

Did Adelaide peak too early?

WhatAdelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
WhereCoopers Stadium, Adelaide
When19:45 (AEST) Saturday 13th May, 2023
How to watchParamount+, 10Bold
OddsAdelaide United 2.55, Draw 3.60, Central Coast Mariners 2.55

Judging by the last four games of the regular season it is fair to suggest they did, but now they need to pick themselves up for finals. 

The Reds went on a mammoth 12-match unbeaten run, defeating Melbourne City along the way and scoring goals for fun. They looked unstoppable. 

However they failed to win in the last four games of the season, and most alarming was the fact that Central Coast beat them 4-1 in the final game. 

That result allowed the Mariners to jump above them into second spot on the ladder and meant they had to play an extra game in the elimination final. 

How crucial that will turn out to be, we will find out over the next two games, but the Mariners should be well rested.

Related Football News

Australian Football: Sydney relishing underdogs tag

Australian Football: Elimination Finals could be classics

Mariners have sign over Reds 

The Mariners have dominated Adelaide in the two games they have played so far this season. As well as the 4-1 win in the last game, they also ran out 4-0 winners in January before the Reds embarked on the unbeaten run. 

Beni N’Kololo scored in both of those victories and can be backed at 4.00 to score at anytime in Saturday’s game. Jason Cummings remains the biggest threat for the Mariners, despite not scoring in either, and he is priced at 5.50 to score the first goal of the game.  

Despite the importance of the first leg, it is unlikely to be a cagey affair and we can expect goals. Only Melbourne City outscored these two sides in the regular season. 

The Mariners scored 55 goals in their 26 games, Adelaide 53, so averaging pretty much two a game. Over 2.5 goals is available at 1.44 and under is 2.75 if you think there is a chance of it being tight and nervy.  

Central Coast look to have peaked at the right time when winning four and drawing one of their last five games. 

As well as the Adelaide win, it also included a 1-1 draw with Melbourne City, so confidence should be sky-high. 

Even so, Adelaide have shown what a class outfit they are this season and if they can rediscover their best form, have what it takes to go through.

Irankunda the talk of the town 

Adelaide have a side packed with quality that includes one of the hottest properties in the A-League at this time, Nestory Irankunda. 

The 17-year-old has been a revelation. So much so, there is already talk that Bayern Munich are closing in on a deal. Adelaide have a number of goal threats and Irankunda is one of them. 

He can be backed at 2.50 to score anytime. However Craig Goodwin remains their top scorer and grabbed both goals in the 2-0 win over the Phoenix in the elimination final. He can be backed at 8.00 to score the first goal. 

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