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The navy blues and whites and the reigning champions have been inconsistent in recent weeks, so perhaps a scoring draw is the way to go in this one

Melbourne Victory will be looking to bounce back from last week's derby humiliation when they host Central Coast Mariners in what promises to be an intriguing Friday night clash at AAMI Park.

Victory were pumped 4-0 by Heart last Saturday night in their worst Derby loss, but one imagines combative coach Kevin Muscat will have them fired up to hit back in a big way when the Mariners come to town in a match that could go a long way towards consolidating a top-six position for the winner.

Central Coast, themselves, have not been in particularly good form, but they arrested a five-match losing run across all competitions with a 2-1 victory over Sydney FC last week.

Despite, being at home, Victory have been diabolical when it comes to conceding goals in recent times, the Melbourne side having shipped 12 goals over their last four home A-League matches as their defence right across the park has been exposed.

Indeed, Victory have not kept a clean sheet in 11 A-League matches and have conceded 26 goals in this time, suggesting that goals should be scored in this encounter, especially as defensive midfielder Mark Milligan will be with the Socceroos on international duty.

But Central Coast are struggling to score themselves, the Mariners having posted just five goals in their last six games as the departure of striker Daniel McBreen hits hard.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET

Back the draw at $3.40

Make it a 1-1 draw at $6.50


Despite Victory's defensive woes, they are still a $1.90 favourite to win this encounter, with the Mariners at $4.

Central Coast are probably fairly long as they haven't won any of their last four clashes with Victory on the road.

However, they have drawn three of those games, making the $3.40 on offer for the stalemate not a bad bet.

And, with Victory struggling to keep a clean sheet and the Mariners struggling to score, maybe a 1-1 draw at $6.50 is the way to go, although taking the Mariners to pull off a 2-1 scoreline at $13 is also tempting in correct score markets.

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