Premiers Plate to be settled in high stakes game between Mariners and Adelaide

posted in: A-League (Men), News

Wellington Phoenix fans will be urging Adelaide United to pull off an upset win against the Central Coast Mariners in Wednesday’s final game of the regular men’s A-League season.

The potential outcomes from the game to be played at the scenic Industree Group Stadium, Gosford, are:

  • Mariners win, and they become the A-League Premier Plate winners, finishing two points ahead of the Phoenix.
  • Mariners draw, and they will finish equal on 53 points with the Phoenix but will take the Plate because they’ll have won more games than their New Zealand-based rivals.
  • Mariners lose, and the Phoenix win the Premiers Plate, their first trophy since the club’s formation in 2007.

What’s at stake

A win will provide the Mariners with their first Premiers Plate in 12 years.

It will also give the edge for hosting a grand final if they win through to the season’s showcase event scheduled for Saturday May 25, 2024.

A loss will swing the advantage of a potential Wellington-hosted grand final to the Phoenix.

READ MORE: The final countdown: Top six teams locked in for men’s A-League play-offs >>>>

What chance do Adelaide have?

Having missed the top six play-offs, Adelaide United can play their last game of the season with nothing to lose.

All the same, Australian and New Zealand bookmakers rate an Adelaide win as a $4.75 bet — that rates an Adelaide win as only a 20% probability.

The Mariners have a 60% chance of winning, the odds suggest, and a draw is rated a 20% probability.

Adelaide United head coach Carl Veart.

Adelaide United head coach Carl Veart told a media conference: “We’re going to go there and play the football that we’ve played all year and we’re going to try to win, and it’s as simple as that.

“I know they’ve got a lot on the line as well so it should be an entertaining game.

“They might sit back a little bit because they only need the draw, but you know we’re going to go there and try and get the three points.”

Form of the teams

Adelaide beat the Mariners 3-0 in the opening game of the Isuzu UTE A-League season.

But that was the exception in the recent match-ups between them.

The Mariners have won five of their last six league games against Adelaide, including a 4-0 victory the last time they meet.

Home advantage will also favour the Mariners, as they have beaten Adelaide the last five times they met at Gosford, and kept clean sheets in three of those wins.

Main photo: The scenic Industree Group Stadium, Gosford. Photo credit: Central Coast Mariners.

Five reasons for Phoenix fans’ optimism

1. Adelaide have been in strong goalscoring form recently, netting 16 goals in their last five outings, of which they lost only one.

2. Japanese forward Hiroshi Ibusuki is out of contract after this game, and he’ll be keen to send a come-and-get-me message to other clubs with a strong performance. He’s also fourth on the A-League Golden Boot table with 15 goals, and will be keen for more.

3. Teenage Adelaide winger Nestory Irankunda will play his last game for the club before joining German giants Bayern Munich. He’ll want a fitting farewell to his A-League career.

4. The Mariners will be without 13-goal leading scorer Angel Torres, suspended by the club following his recent arrest by NSW Police.

5. Adelaide won well in their last game, beating Brisbane Roar 4-3 at Suncorp Stadium, with Ibusuki scoring twice. If they can only carry that form forward …

How to watch

The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 7 in New Zealand


Game to be played on Wednesday May 1, 2024

Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
Industree Group Stadium, Gosford, 9pm (NZT)



Central Coast Mariners

2. Mikael DOKA, 3. Brian KALTAK, 4. Josh NISBET, 6. Max BALARD, 7. Christian THEOHAROUS, 9. Alou KUOL, 14. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Harry STEELE, 17. Jing REEC, 18. Jacob FARRELL, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (c), 22. Ronald BARCELLOS, 23. Dan HALL, 26. Brad TAPP, 28. Will WILSON, 30. Jack WARSHAWSKY, 33. Nathan PAULL, 39. Miguel DI PIZIO, 99. Ryan EDMONDSON

Unavailable: 5. Noah SMITH (injured), 27. Sasha KUZEVSKI (injured)

Adelaide United

1.James DELIANOV, 2.Harry VAN DER SAAG, 3.Ben WARLAND, 4.Nick ANSELL, 6.Stefan MAUK, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Hiroshi IBUSUKI, 10.Zach CLOUGH, 17.Luka JOVANOVIĆ, 19. Yaya DUKULY, 21.Javi LÓPEZ, 22.Ryan TUNNICLIFFE, 23.Luke DUZEL, 36.Panashe MADANHA, 37.Jonny YULL, 40.Ethan COX, 42.Austin AYOUBI, 55.Ethan ALAGICH, 66.Nestory IRANKUNDA

Unavailable: 27. Josh CAVALLO (quad), 51.Panagiotis KIKIANIS (hamstring)


More football stories