show me:

Mariners or Victory? A breakdown of the ALM grand final

3 minute read

A in-depth look at A-League Men grand finalists the Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory.

Reigning champions the Central Coast Mariners, with two trophies to their credit already this season, will take on perennial heavyweights Melbourne Victory in the A-League Men grand final.

Here's a look at how the campaign has panned out for each side as they go head-to-head in Saturday evening's season finale.

When: 7.45pm AEST (Network Ten)

Where: Industree Group Stadium, Gosford.


STORYLINE: After losing their first four games, the Mariners' title defence seemed dead and buried. But Mark Jackson's side have lost just two games since. Along the way they've picked up the A-League Men premiership and AFC Cup: a treble would be an unprecedented achievement in Australian football.

ONE TO WATCH: Josh Nisbet. The midfielder earned an overdue Socceroos call-up earlier this year and often steps up for the Mariners when it matters. The 24-year-old is Central Coast's key playmaker, delivering nine assists across the campaign so far.

STAT: Victory can ill-afford to switch off against the Mariners, who have made a habit of scoring late this year: 33 per cent of Central Coast's ALM goals in 2023/24 have come in the final 15 minutes of matches.

DID YOU KNOW? The Mariners can become the third team in ALM history - after Brisbane Roar (2011/12) and Sydney FC (2019/20) - to win back-to-back titles.


STORYLINE: Victory have scrapped their way through to the decider. After finishing third in the regular season, Tony Popovic's side looked dead and buried when 1-0 and a man down against Melbourne City in the elimination final - but fought back to win on penalties. They went on to ruin Wellington's fairytale over two legs to reach Saturday's showpiece - their first grand final in six years.

ONE TO WATCH: Zinedine Machach missed the two-legged semi through suspension after being sent off in the elimination final. The French goalscoring dynamo is fit and will have a point to prove on his return to the fray.

STAT: Tony Popovic will coach in a record fifth ALM grand final and is aiming to claim his first championship after four defeats.

DID YOU KNOW? Victory centre-backs Roderick Miranda and Damien Da Silva speak a combination of French, Portuguese and English while on the pitch - something Miranda believes is crucial to their rock-solid pairing.

What’s gambling really costing you?

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit