ALM Preview: Central Coast v City

Melbourne City faces a quick turnaround after Saturday’s draw against the Jets, on the road to face Central Coast in Gosford this Tuesday night.

Just five games remain this season so it’s shaping up as a must-win fixture as your City boys aim for a late-season charge into Finals.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of Tuesday!

Short turnaround = changes expected?

We’ve got three days between games, a far cry from the 18 we had between our previous two fixtures.

With such a short break and a physical scoreless draw played out at AAMI Park on Saturday, City’s coaching staff may have some squad rotation in mind for Tuesday.

Curtis Good returned to the bench against the Jets and ultimately was an unused substitute, but could be a candidate to slot back into the XI should one of Nuno Reis or Samuel Souprayen pull up sore.

Further up the pitch the likes of Terry Antonis and Ale Lopane could be shaping for a return in midfield, while Captain Jamie Maclaren may be preferred over 18-year-old Max Caputo up top.

A start is likely a bridge too far for Mathew Leckie after our star winger saw 20 minutes in his return from injury and illness on Saturday, but he’ll likely be capable of playing a bigger role in Gosford.

We could be set for another welcome return to Tuesday’s bench as well, with stand-in Head Coach Raffaele Napoli confirming that Marco Tilio was tracking ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury and was a chance to make the trip.

Do or die?

We are right at the business end of the season now with just five games to go, but currently sit four points out of the top six.

We do hold a game in hand over the Wanderers in the spot above us, but with time running out – we won’t be able to drop many more points if we’re to play Finals football for a 10th consecutive season.

This will be our second last away trip of the season with three of our last four to be played at AAMI Park, so coming home with the three points would set us up nicely for the final month of the season.

Reversing a disappointing run against the Mariners

While historically we’ve performed strongly against the Mariners, our head-to-head record doesn’t make for pretty reading for City fans.

We’re winless in our last four against the Gosford-based outfit (2D, 2L) and haven’t beaten them on their own deck since January 2022.

Tuesday’s fixture will mark our third meeting of the season, the first coming in December at AAMI Park when a Lopane stoppage time equaliser earned us a share of the points after an earlier Angel Torres hattrick.

Torres was a thorn in our side again when we faced off in Gosford a month later, netting an 88th-minute winner to make it 2-1.

Fixture Details

A-League Men: Round 21

Central Coast v Melbourne City FC

Tuesday 2 April, 7:00pm KO

Industree Group Stadium