Twenty four rounds of the home and away season are complete and the 2020/21 A-League Finals Series is finally upon us. Macarthur FC head to Gosford to take on the Mariners in their first ever finals match, whilst the Brisbane Roar host Adelaide on Sunday afternoon. It’s do or die for all four teams this Sunday, and we’ve got you covered with tips and previews for the Elimination Finals!
Saturday 12th June 7.05pm (AEST)
It has been a stunning turnaround for the Central Coast, who had finished bottom of the table in the last three seasons, now hosting a home Elimination Final, in what is their first finals appearance since 2014. Despite finishing outside the top two, Central Coast were on top of the table for fifteen of the first sixteen rounds of the season. So the Mariners know that the title is within their reach if they can get on a roll.
Macarthur have struggled in the late part of the season, with a 3-0 loss to Wellington at home last week, taking the Bulls to just one win from their last four games. The Central Coast will be riding high playing their first final in Gosford in seven years, against an opponent that they have a perfect record against. The Mariners have had the wood over Macarthur beating the Bulls on all three occasions the two sides have met this season. Matt Simon and Alou Kuol have given the Mariners incredible variety in their attack which will be vital under the bright lights of the finals series.
The Mariners have been the feel good story of the 2020/21 season, and with Gosford not seeing a competitive Mariners outfit for a long time, you can expect a hostile environment for Macarthur in their debut finals series. The Mariners have some serious momentum behind them and have played an exciting brand of football all season long. Central Coast have been too good for the Bulls on three occasions this season, and they’re going to make it a fourth as they book a place in the Semi Finals.
Sunday 13th June 3.05pm (AEST)
Brisbane host Adelaide in what’s set to be a cracking clash on Sunday afternoon. It’s the second best defence in the league against the fourth best attack in the league. The Roar’s stifling defence have conceded the second least amount of goals in the A-League, with 28. Whilst Adelaide has scored 39 goals this season, the fourth most in the competition. The Roar have struggled in front of goal this season, ranking tenth in conversion and seventh for goals for this season.
With Tomi Juric (7 goals this season) back into the side, alongside Craig Goodwin (8) and Stefan Mauk (7), the Reds have got an excellent spread of attacking threats that will stretch the Brisbane defence. Whilst the Roar have an outstanding defence their struggles to score loom as a massive concern, especially if they go behind. When the pressure of the finals stage comes, you need proven goal scoring threats to rise to the occasion, Adelaide have that in abundance and Brisbane don’t.
The Reds will take plenty of confidence from their victory over Brisbane in a tight encounter when the two sides played a month ago. The Roar have been in a lean patch of form to end the season, losing two of their last three matches leading into the finals. Brisbane’s preparation for this game has been poor and the matchup plays into the Reds hands perfectly, the Roar's struggles at home will continue on the big stage as Adelaide advance.
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