Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners

Melbourne Victory  takes on the Central Coast Mariners  on Friday night, looking to stay in the hunt for a berth in the finals. Last week’s 0-0  derby draw with Melbourne Heart leaves them three points behind the Newcastle Jets, who occupy the sixth and final playoff spot and with only seven weeks of the regular season remaining, they need to start winning matches. New coach Jim Magilton has been unable to turn his side’s fortunes around since taking the helm, having overseen four draws and 4-1 thumping at the hands of Perth Glory since taking charge, but is confident that they are going in the right direction.

The Central Coast Mariners, seven points clear at the top of the table, will be determined to bounce from last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at the hand of reigning champions Brisbane Roar when they travel to AAMI Park. That defeat was their first since October 23 and Graham Arnold’s men will be determined to prove that it was nothing but a blip in their quest to go one better than last year.

These teams have already clashed twice this season, with the match ending in a scoreless draw  in the first meeting in week six, before the Mariners defeated Victory 2-0  when they went head-to-head at Bluetongue Stadium on January 4.

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