Aloisi benched for Mariners clash

Sydney FC coach John Kosmina has confirmed marquee man John Aloisi will start from the bench against his former club the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night.

Sydney FC coach John Kosmina has confirmed marquee man John Aloisi will start from the bench against his former club the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night.

Aloisi ended his goal-scoring drought in his side's 2-0 win over the Victory last weekend after coming on as a replacement shortly after the interval.

And despite sporting a heavily bandaged head on Friday as a result of a collision at Thursday's session which required 16 stitches, Kosmina backed his star striker to again make an impact late in the contest.

"Johnny's been in the wars this week as he also left training early on Monday, he tweaked his knee a little bit but that's all fine," Kosmina revealed.

"But having said that I think he's best served to coming off the bench as an impact (player), he proved that last week and certainly with that wound maybe the sting can go out of the game before he starts putting his head into areas."

The news is not so good for versatile veteran Robbie Middleby who is unlikely to take his place in the line-up after he was forced from the training pitch with an ongoing knee complaint.

Sydney's growing injury toll means Alex Brosque is almost certain to return from a hamstring injury sooner than expected.

"'Brosquey's' a risk but since we're getting down on bodies we don't have much of a choice," Kosmina said.

"But look he's had a full week of training, he did a lot of running last week, he's probably still undercooked but it's a calculated risk and we need some width and some speed out wide because I think that made a difference against Melbourne last week."

"So provided 'Brosquey' pulls up alright tomorrow (Saturday) he'll start."

With regular squad members Brendon Santalab (shoulder), Iain Fyfe (suspension), Simon Colosimo (groin) and Jacob Timpano (ankle) all still unavailable, Kosmina challenged his new-look side to prove last week's win was no fluke.

"Last week was easy because you had a whole bunch of new faces in there with virtually nothing to lose but this week now they've got a reputation and they've got to back it up," he said.

"I said to them don't be frightened of playing it's what it's all about, they wanted to play, they're here and they've got their chance now so enjoy it."

Meanwhile, Kosmina has no doubt Mariners mentor Lawrie McKinna will again employ the three-pronged-strike force of Dylan Macallister, Matt Simon and Sasho Petrovski which paid dividends against the Jets last start.

"I would be very surprised if he changed it, it worked very effectively for them," Kosmina said.

"Sometimes circumstances force changes and it was a positive change for the Mariners like it was for us last week."