Mariners on five game unbeaten run heading into Western United match

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Undefeated in their last five games, Central Coast Mariners will look to further their finals charge when they take on Western United on Saturday afternoon.

Surprisingly it’s the first of two meetings between the two sides this season with 15 points separate the two teams on the table. However, recent fixtures continue to prove ladder positioning is by no means reflective of team quality.

Mariners are looking to hone in on the top six while United are looking to extend their gap on the rest of the pack and close in on ladder-leaders Melbourne City who sit three points above.

Central Coast’s attacking continues to improve with internationals Marcos Urena, Beni Nkololo, and Jason Cummings crucial in Mariners scoring prowess. Each have been monumental for this season’s success, combining for 48% of all Mariners seasonal goals.

Western United sit second on the ladder, coming off a five goal thriller against Brisbane Roar in a 3-2 victory but United haven’t won back-to-back matches since late February.

Head-to-head:

There have been six meetings between the pair with the teams sharing three wins each. In each meeting the home team has won, which is concerning for Central Coast as they travel to Victoria for this fixture.

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Last time they met:

Last season was a huge breakout season for the Mariners: a record of 12 wins, six draws, and eight losses was their most successful season since taking out their first championship in 2012/13.

The last time these two teams met was the Mariners’ final match of the regular season where they won 2-0. The win solidified Central Coast’s first finals appearance in seven years with goals to former Mariner Jack Clisby and the in-form Marcos Urena.

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Player watch: Jason Cummings

Possibly the steal of the season for Central Coast. The dual-international has burst onto the A-League scene, culminating in three goals and six assists in 11 appearances since joining the club in January.

Cummings has the ability to create space and opportunities for himself and others, link-up with teammates, and pressure defenders into fouls. The Scottish import is well-experienced in the world game and plays a pivotal role in the development and motivation of the younger academy players.

The 26-year-old is eligible for the Socceroos and holds assets that have been missing among the national side. His form of late has caught the attention of fans questioning why he is being overlooked by coach Graham Arnold.

Speaking post-match on Saturday night, coach Nick Montgomery is bewildered as to why striker Jason Cummings wasn’t considered for the Socceroos in their World Cup qualifiers.

“I don’t think there’s a player like him available for Australia. I can’t see how the national team can look past him.”

Team News:

Matheus Moresche will miss this game due to suspension after picking up a final minute red card against Adelaide United. Kye Rowles should be back for this match after contracting Covid-19 the week of being called into Socceroos camp. Jacob Farrell (concussion) will be monitored after copping a head knock against Adelaide.

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Match Details:

Central Coast Mariners vs Western United
Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s MW21
Saturday 2nd April 2022
Mars Stadium, Ballarat, Victoria
Kick Off: 2:05pm

Feature Image Credit: Central Coast Mariners

Data sourced from our friends at Ultimate A-League.

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Mitchell Roese
Sports enthuse currently studying a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at the University of Technology Sydney. Covering the Central Coast Mariners 2021/22 A-League Season

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