Melbourne City will be looking to bounce back on the second leg of our NSW away stand, this time gearing up to face Central Coast Mariners.
After our eight-match unbeaten run came to an end last time out, the boys will be looking to start a new run in Gosford this Sunday.
We take a look at some key talking points heading into this one…
This matchup has historically been entertaining, with only two of the last six meetings seeing less than four goals scored.
Across the last 8 games against the Central Coast, we’ve lost just once, including a 3-3 draw at AAMI Park in December earlier this season.
Alessandro Lopane was the hero for us that day, coming off the bench and scoring a stoppage-time equaliser to rescue a point.
It looks to be a pretty even contest in the stats department, with both sides sitting level on points (18) and separated only by goal difference.
Having won five, drawn two, scoring 23 goals while each holding 3 clean sheets, it shapes as a fascinating duel between two of the A-League’s AFC representatives this season.
More minutes for Andy?
The highlight for City fans last week was undoubtedly the astonishingly early return of Andrew Nabbout from his achilles injury, playing a strong 30-minute cameo off the bench.
His influence was sorely missed, with the team lifting from the moment he entered the pitch.
Unlikely to be unleashed from the start as he builds back up to full match fitness, Andy will be looking to get back on the scoresheet as a potential super-sub again this week.
With another week on the training pitch now under his belt, he could be set for a few more minutes than we saw last week but regardless of when he comes on, Aurelio Vidmar will know he has a gamechanger waiting on the bench.
The men upfront
With history suggesting this fixture could serve up goals aplenty, it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on the main men up front across both teams.
Our skipper Jamie Maclaren has netted on 7 occasions this season and the four-straight reigning Golden Boot winner will be looking to kick on in the second half of the season to reach his lofty standards, starting with this game against the Mariners.
Tolgay Arslan has scored four in the league himself to back Maclaren up along with an additional four assists, while Academy graduate Ben Mazzeo will be looking to add to his two goals if he gets the chance in his first game since he signed his first pro-contract with his boyhood club.
The home side will be counting on Angel Torres, whose 6 goals for the campaign include a hattrick in the 3-3 draw against us earlier this season.
Having lost star Brazilian Marco Tulio to Japan since we last played, even more responsibility now falls on the shoulders of Torres.
A-League Men: Round 13
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City FC
Sunday 21 January 6:00pm KO
Industree Group Stadium, Gosford
Watch live on 10Bold, 10play or Paramount+