THURSDAY night football returns to Victoria in round 7 of the A-League as the Melbourne Victory host the Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park.
The Victory are coming off a resounding 4-2 win over their big rivals Sydney FC – the Grand Final replay from last season.
The big V trailed twice before rallying to record the huge win.
Victory sharpshooter Besart Berisha netted two goals in the big win, which moves him alongside Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli at the top of the goal scorer league with five.
Berisha has scored 13 goals in his last 14 appearances across all competitions and is at $1.53 to score at any time against the Mariners on Thursday night with Sportsbet.
It was Sydney’s first loss for the season and moves Melbourne Victory within three points of league leaders the Brisbane Roar with a game in hand.
The Central Coast Mariners have had an indifferent opening month and a half to the 2015/16 campaign after winning the opening match of the season.
However, after two late goals in consecutive weeks against the Phoenix then against the Jets – despite being down to ten men – the Mariners have real hope they can turn around their season.
The Victory have won the last five matches against the Mariners – three of which ended in wins to Melbourne 3-1.
Crownbet is offering $10.00 on the Victory to repeat the dose and win 3-1.
Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au
Winner: Melbourne Victory – $1.36
First goal scorer: Besart Berisha – $4.00
To win both halves: Melbourne Victory – $3.20
Both teams to score: Yes – $1.67
Melbourne Victory and the Central Coast Mariners kick off round seven of the A-League on Thursday night with both teams looking to kick off the weekend of football in style with a win.
AAMI Park is the venue for the crunch match between the third and eighth placed teams on the ladder, with so much riding on the result for both the Victory and the Mariners.
The reigning champions have been in stellar form again this season, with only one loss to their name so far this season.
The Mariners have only one win to their names, but two come from behind draws against the Jets and the Phoenix has them optimistic that the second half of the season could be a successful one.
Interestingly enough, despite only having one win to their names, Central Coast are the only team in the A-League to score in every match this season.
The Victory can level with Brisbane at the top of the table with a win, and with a game in hand due to the FFA Cup final with Perth a fortnight ago – a triumph will set Melbourne up perfectly heading into the latter stages of the campaign.
The much feared premiership hangover is not an issue for the Victory, who have only dropped the one game so far this season.
Besart Berisha has found the back of the net five times this season, and is the favoured option to score the first goal in this match.
Sportsbet has $4.00 on offer for the Victory talisman to find the back of the net first against the Marniners.
In fact, Sportsbet have an option to bet Berisha against the Mariners to see who ends the game with the most goals in the match.
Berisha is at $3.25, a draw is $2.75 while the Central Coast Mariners are at $2.30.
Central Coast star Roy O’Donovan has scored three goals this campaign to date – to have him fifth on the goal scorers tally – and the $4.20 on offer for the Mariners front man to score at any time represents terrific value.
Melbourne Victory have play makers all across the park, with Kosta Barbarouses the main architect through the middle of the pitch.
The home side have goal scoring potential throughout almost all the starting 11 and are constantly threatening the goal mouth of the opposition.
Despite their goal scoring record, the Mariners have failed to keep a clean sheet this season, and against a powerful scoring team like the Victory, all hell could break loose on AMMI Park.
With an unbeaten run against their opponents that stretches back to 2013, it is hard to see the Victory doing anything but winning here.
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