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A-League: Sydney set to test out tired Mariners

Sydney FC will be looking to make home advantage count when they entertain Central Coast Mariners in the A-League Finals semi-final first-leg clash.

Sydney set up the date with the minor premiers after smashing Macarthur FC 4-0 in the elimination final, but now they face an even bigger test.

The Mariners have been the standout team in the A-League this season and are now on course to do the treble after also winning the AFC Cup final on Sunday night.

They can be backed at 3.25 to win the grand final, but it remains to be seen if all the travel and extra games takes its toll.

Sydney should be rested and ready to go and can be backed at 3.50 to go all the way and win the grand final.

First up they need to take advantage of a home clash against a Mariners side that may be jaded after their Asian Cup exploits.

. What: Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
. Where: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
. When: 20:45, Friday 10th May 2024
. How to watch: Paramount+, 10Bold
. Odds: Sydney FC 2.05, Draw 3.75, Central Coast Mariners 3.30

Blues hoping to use home comforts

Sydney should be on a high after smashing Macarthur 4-0 in the elimination final and will look to take that form into the Mariners clash.

Macarthur played much of the game with 10 men after Kealey Adamson was sent off after 27 minutes, but nothing can be taken away from Sydney’s clinical performance.

Robert Mak was one of the star performers in the game when scoring a brace, and he can be backed at 3.40 to score at anytime, or 8.00 to grab the first of the game.

The Mariners may have had an outstanding season, but Sydney beat them both at home and away during the regular season.

They wrapped up a 2-0 win at Allianz in March and a 3-1 win on the Central Coast in February. The same again would be more than enough to book their place in the grand final.

A 2-0 win to Sydney can be backed at 12.00.

The games between the two sides are usually very high-scoring, with a couple of 3-3 draws and a 3-2 win to Sydney taking place in recent seasons.

Over 2.5 goals in Friday night’s game can be backed at 1.61, while both teams to score is also available at 2.37.

Mariners need to rest up

How the Mariners perform on Friday night could depend on how well they recover from their Asian Cup exploits.

They are due to arrive back in Australia on Tuesday and then just have a couple of days to get in as much rest as possible.

It remains to be seen how much the 1-0 win over Lebanon’s Al-Ahed has taken out of them, but they look to have come through the clash unscathed.

Alou Kuol scored the only goal of the game six minutes from time and the striker can be backed at 3.20 to score at anytime against Sydney.

The Mariners have beaten Sydney just once in their last six meetings, but not a great deal can be read into that statistic.

More telling is the fact they are unbeaten in their last eight games, winning seven of them, and will be full of confidence.

With the treble now in their sights, they have the extra motivation of becoming one of the greatest A-League teams of all time.

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