The Best of the Day preview searches for the back of the net with A-League tips for a vital clash between the front-running Central Coast Mariners and fifth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers.

History: Played 27: Western Sydney 14 V Central Coast 6 (7 Draws)

Last meeting: January 19, 2021: Western Sydney 1 d Central Coast 0 at Central Coast Stadium

Final thoughts: The Best of the Day preview unpicks an A-League blockbuster as Western Sydney Wanderers search for their first win in three games and Central Coast Mariners aim for back-to-back victories.

Western Sydney are fifth on the ladder with six wins and five draws from 15 starts. But it’s been a disappointing past fortnight on the road, crashing 4-1 to Melbourne City and drawing 1-all with Brisbane Roar.

Wanderers opened the scoring in both games before fading in disappointing second-half efforts.

But returning to BankWest Stadium, where they have piled on seven goals in their past two games, could be the catalyst for a turnaround.

Central Coast were also humbled by Melbourne City 2-0 recently. But the Mariners have maintained a two-point lead at the top of the A-League table with a 1-all draw against struggling Melbourne Victory and a 2-1 defeat of in-form Adelaide United.

Oliver Bozanic (72′) and brilliant teenager Alou Kuol (76′) struck in quick succession as the Mariners came from behind to end the Reds’ six-match winning run.

Though they lost to City in their most recent away game, Central Coast boast a handy four-win, two-loss record on the road this season.

Wanderers boast 11 wins and three draws from their last 16 games against the Mariners and are unbeaten in the last four encounters.

WSW will be looking to channel their Round 4 win in Gosford. The visitors prevailed 1-0 thanks to Nicolai Muller’s 83rd-minute goal, halting the Mariners sizzling start to the season.

Western Sydney are $2.30 Best of the Day favourites but we could be in for a high-scoring thriller here. There’s little between the teams at present and I’m expecting Central Coast to find the back of the net a couple of times.

Tip: Central Coast Total Goals – Over 1.5 @ $2.13