What Not to Miss: Men away in the Central Coast

There are plenty of storylines to keep an eye on ahead of this weekend’s New Year’s Eve clash with Central Coast Mariners.

Final game of the year

Saturday night’s clash will be the last of the A-League Men’s competition in 2022, bringing an end to another dramatic 12 months of football.

A game against the Mariners is a fitting way to close out the year for Melbourne Victory, whose best moment of 2022 was undoubtedly their Australia Cup triumph back in February, secured by a 2-1 win over Central Coast at AAMI Park.

Victory will be aiming to finish the year on a high as they build towards the second half of a campaign which remains fiercely contested and with plenty of silverware still on the line.

Strong away form

Whilst consistency has been a struggle for Tony Popovic’s side so far this season, one area where Victory have regularly impressed is their form away from home.

Victory have won the majority of their points on the road this season, including two wins from two games played in New South Wales.

A strong away record has kept Victory in the race for finals over the first few months of the season and they will be desperate for it to continue at Industree Group Stadium this weekend.

Return to Gosford

As well as their strong away form, Victory also boast an impressive record playing against the Mariners in Gosford.

In fact, Victory have lost only one of their last nine matches at Industree Group Stadium, winning four of those games.

Add in a superior overall head-to-head of games played in Gosford with nine wins to Central Coast’s seven and it’s fair to say Victory will have no shortage of confidence heading into enemy territory this weekend.

NYE timeslot

Saturday night will not be the first time Victory have taken to the field on the final day of the year.

Rather, this weekend’s fixture will mark the fifth occasion on which Victory have played a league game on December 31st.

The most recent of these came 11 years ago against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

However, the other three instances were all against the Mariners in Gosford, with the Melbourne boys coming away with the points on each occasion.

Tony Popovic and his team have the chance to extend that perfect record against Central Coast to four wins from four this Saturday, however, plenty has changed at both clubs since Diogo Ferreira and Grant Brebner snatched all three points back in 2010.