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Sunday's A-League Preview: Mariners keen to close the gap

Central Coast Mariners travel to New Zealand on Sunday to take on Wellington Phoenix while Newcastle Jets will be attempting to get the better of Western Sydney Wanderers on home soil.

The Mariners have enjoyed a good season to date under the stewardship of Nick Montgomery and have earned a reputation as an attack-minded team.

They have won their last three matches and are 13/8 to make it four in a row by defeating a Phoenix side that have been hard to beat this term and have emerged victorious by a single goal in each of their last two A-League fixtures - against Brisbane Roar last weekend and Sydney FC.

Both those victories have come on their travels and they are 6/4 to triumph when they return to their home ground this weekend.

Mariners ready for tough task

WhatWellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
WhereSky Stadium, Wellington
When13:00, Sunday 22nd January 2023
How to watchParamount+
OddsWellington Phoenix 6/4, Draw 13/5, Central Coast Mariners 13/8

Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay is pleased that his side have managed to grind out victories away from home this month and been able to keep their first clean sheets of the season. They are 10/3 to keep a clean sheet against Central Coast Mariners.

The Phoenix will again be without their experienced central defender Scott Wootton, who looks set to sidelined for a month with a calf injury. However, in better news for Wellington, Bozhidar Kraev and defensive midfielder Nicholas Pennington return to the squad after serving their suspensions.

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Saturday's A-League Preview: Sydney keen to triumph in Hobart

Mariners head coach Montgomery has included new signing Christian Theoharous in his squad as the visitors attempt to keep their excellent recent run going.

The two teams last met three months ago when the points were shared in a 2-2 draw, and to prove the two teams are well-matched, the all-time record between them shows that they have each won 18 games while eight matches have been drawn.

Jets to edge low-scoring affair

WhatNewcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers
WhereMcDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
When15:00, Sunday 22nd January 2023
How to watch10 Bold, 10 Play, Paramount+
OddsNewcastle Jets 9/5, Draw, 12/5, Western Sydney Wanderers 29/20

Goals could be at a premium in Newcastle on Sunday when the Jets, who have scored 10 goals in their 12 A-League matches to date, take on a Western Sydney outfit that have only managed three more goals.

Wanderers have a much better defensive record than Sunday’s opponents though - they have conceded nine goals compared with Newcastle’s 20.

Newcastle have not started 2023 well at all, losing 2-0 at home to Sydney FC on New Year’s Day before slumping to a 2-0 loss at Macarthur and then drawing 1-1 with Western United last weekend.

Western Sydney Wanderers held league leaders Melbourne City to a 1-1 draw last weekend and can be backed at 15/2 to edge Sunday’s match 1-0.

Western Sydney got off to a great start this season, winning three of their first four matches, but they have been more inconsistent of late, winning just two of their last eight games, drawing three and losing three.

Wanderers have scored four goals in their six away encounters this term and have only found the net more than once in one game - the 2-0 home victory against Sunday’s opponents.

Wanderers head coach Marko Rudan is able to call on the services of Gabriel Cleur who has served his suspension but he will be without Aidan Simmons, Alex Bonetig and Marcus Younis.

Kusini Yengi and Milos Ninkovic have been added to the squad.

The Jets won their first two games of the campaign but have lost seven of their last 10. Their goal in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Western United was only their second in their last six A-League fixtures.

The Jets will be without Brandon O’Neill, Rory Jordan and Noah James for this game.

The last time these two sides met was earlier in the season in round two when Wanderers won 2-0 thanks to goals by Brandon Borrello and Romain Amalfitano.

In the last game played between the two teams in Newcastle, the Jets edged a tight encounter 1-0.

Another 1-0 victory for Newcastle on Sunday is available at 8/1 while a goalless draw can be backed at 9/1.

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