A-League Grand Final preview and tips: Back Melbourne City and goals in juicy build-a-bet

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Date, KO time and TV coverage

A-League Grand Final, Saturday June 3, Kick-off 10:45am, live on BT Sport 1

Build-a-bet betting tips

Melbourne City to win, over 2.5 goals and both teams to score

Melbourne City vs Central Coast Mariners verdict

Both of these teams were given a good chance of making the Grand Final at the start of the season and that's exactly how it's panned out.

Melbourne City will be competing in their fourth consecutive A-League final, having lost 2-0 to Western United last season. Before that, they beat Sydney in 2021 to avenge their 2020 defeat.

Central Coast aren't nearly as decorated, but they have had a fantastic season. They marginally improved on last season's points total and finished three places higher in second.

The issue for the Mariners is they still finished 11 points behind first-place City and before their 1-1 draw in April had lost five straight games to them.

The City Boys thrashed Sydney 5-1 on aggregate to reach the final and have a habit of putting Central Coast to the sword.

Despite that, a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 win for Melbourne this season is as close as this series has been throughout City's era of A-League dominance.

There are signs Central Coast can compete here. The Mariners have conceded just five goals in seven games, despite playing third-place Adelaide three times and fourth-place Western United.

Melbourne tends to be free scoring but with their style comes gaps in transition. They've allowed 15 of their last 16 opponents to score at least once and haven't won with a clean sheet on their travels since October.

Much of the Mariners' game plan has to be about stopping City where they can and also exploiting turnovers. We suspect both teams will find the net but City may have that extra quality to decide it, so we'll combine City winning a high-scoring game using the Planet Sport build-a-bet feature.

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