Finals Week 1 Preview

The Hyundai A-League 2009 Finals Series kicks-off this weekend - courtesy of FOXTEL.

The Hyundai A-League 2009 Finals Series kicks-off this weekend - courtesy of FOXTEL.

There's 6 games, 4 teams - but only 1 champion - so who will play the perfect match?

Central Coast Mariners meet Queensland Roar in the minor semi-final at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford, tomorrow, while Adelaide United take on Melbourne Victory at Adelaide's Hindmarsh Stadium this Saturday.

Stats, facts & milestones

The Hyundai A-League moves into the 2009 finals phase after the highest-scoring Hyundai A-League home-and-away season on record. The 2008/09 home-and-away season recorded 249 goals in 84 games, an average of 2.96 goals per game. This overtakes the 2005/06 season (2.76 goals per game) as the highest goalscoring season. The total number of goals scored so far this season (249) already exceeds the previous highest goals for a season including finals matches (the previous record being 244 goals in the 2005/06 season, including finals).

In terms of head-to-head record against other final four teams this season, Melbourne Victory have by far the most outstanding record, with a W-D-L record of 7-1-1 against Adelaide, Central Coast and Queensland combined. Amazingly, the remaining three teams Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners and Queensland Roar have an identical W-D-L record against their remaining top four teams: 2-3-4.

Weekend Matches

Central Coast Mariners v Queensland Roar Friday 6 February, 2009 Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Local kick off 8.00pm AEDT (7.00pm AQST) Referee. Ben Williams

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and Sky Sport 2. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is Coast FM (Gosford) 96.3FM. To purchase tickets visit

Central Coast Mariners Squad: 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2. Andre GUMPRECHT, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Bradley PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 9. Nik MRDJA, 10. Adrian CACERES, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 12. Greg OWENS, 13. Paul O'GRADY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 17. Matthew OSMAN, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON, 22. Sasho PETROVSKI, 30. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk). *two to be omitted

In: 15. Andrew CLARK (Returns from Suspension), 17. Matthew OSMAN (Returns from Injury), 22. Sasho PETROVSKI (Promoted).

Out: 28. Matthew LEWIS (Omitted).

Others Unavailable: 1. Matthew NASH (gk) (Shoulder - Indefinite), 6. David D'APUZZO (Knee - Indefinite), 8. Dean HEFFERNAN (Suspended - 1 week), 21. Ahmad ELRICH (Knee - Season)

Queensland Roar Squad: 1.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Andrew PACKER, 4.Craig MOORE (c), 5.Josh McCLOUGHAN, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Charlie MILLER, 12.Tahj MINNIECON, 15.Matthew McKAY, 16. Hyuk-Su SEO, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Danny TIATTO, 19.Isaka CERNAK, 20.Griffin McMASTER (gk), 21. Tom OAR.

In: 16. Hyuk-Su SEO (promoted), 21. Tom OAR (promoted).

Out: 14. Ben GRIFFIN (omitted).

Others Unavailable: REINALDO (groin injury)

Stats, Facts & Milestones

QUEENSLAND ROAR enter the 2009 finals after their most successful home-and-away season in the Hyundai A-League. The Roar finished third on 36 points, one ladder position & five points better than 2007/08, the club's one and only previous season in the finals. The Roar are the only one of the top four teams to have defeated Premiers Melbourne Victory this season - winning 2-0 at Telstra Dome in Round 6.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS have the most experienced squad in terms of players with Hyundai A-League finals experience. The Mariners have 14 players with Hyundai A-League finals experience, with a combined 63 finals appearances; this compares with 13 Queensland Roar players (37 finals appearances), 9 Adelaide United players (37 appearances) and 9 Melbourne Victory players (29 appearances).

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORDS in all official competitions All matches (played 12): Central Coast Mariners wins 2, Queensland Roar wins 4 (6 draws). In Gosford (played 6): Central Coast Mariners wins 0, Queensland Roar wins 3 (3 draws).

Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory Saturday 7 February, 2009 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Local kick off 6.30pm ACDT (7.00pm AEDT) Referee. Strebre Delovski

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 2 and Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is FRESH FM (Adelaide) and SEN (Melbourne) 1116AM. To purchase tickets visit

Adelaide United Squad: 20.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 3.ALEMAO, 4.Angelo COSTANZO, 5.Michael VALKANIS, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8. Kristian SARKIES, 9.Paul AGOSTINO, 10.CRISTIANO, 13.Travis DODD (capt.), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 15.Jonas SALLEY, 16. Daniel MULLEN, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 24.Paul REID, 25.Robert YOUNIS, 27. Michael MARRONE, 28. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 30.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk). *three to be omitted

In: ALEMAO (returns from injury), Sasa OGNENOVSKI (returns from suspension), Angelo COSTANZO (promoted), Rostyn GRIFFITHS (short term contract), Daniel MULLEN.

Out: Robert CORNTHWAITE (suspended)

Others Unavailable: 1.Daniel BELTRAME (gk) (knee - season), 6.CASSIO (calf - 1 week), 22.DIEGO (quad - indefinite), 21.Jason SPAGNUOLO (knee - 2 weeks).

Melbourne Victory: 1.Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (Captain), 3.Michael THWAITE, 5.Sebastian RYALL, 7.Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 9.Danny ALLSOPP, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.NEY FABIANO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13.Nathan ELASI, 14.Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Jose Luis LOPEZ, 18.Leigh BROXHAM, 19.Evan BERGER, 20.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 22.Nick WARD. *four to be omitted

In: Michael THWAITE (promoted), Nathan ELASI (promoted), Leigh BROXHAM (promoted), Evan BERGER (promoted).

Out: Nil

Others Unavailable: Nil

Stats, Facts & Milestones MELBOURNE VICTORY enter the finals phase being the only team to have won two Premiers Plates. Victory, the newly-crowned Premiers, also took out the Hyundai A-League 2006/07 Premiership. Interestingly, in 2008/09, Melbourne used the all-time lowest amount of players in a home-and-away season (19 different players) out of any club in any Hyundai A-League season.

ADELAIDE UNITED, after an epic five months of Hyundai A-League, AFC Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup matches (30 matches since 17-Aug-08), progress to the 2009 Hyundai A-League finals series as the team with the all-time record lowest number of goals conceded in a home-and-away season (19 goals, equal with Sydney 2006/07 season).

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD in all official competitions All matches (played 15): Adelaide United wins 5, Melbourne Victory wins 7 (3 draws). In Adelaide (played 7): Adelaide United wins 3, Melbourne Victory wins 2 (2 draws).

Note. - Squads subject to change - Match date and kick-off times are subject to change without notice.


2005/06 SEASON Major semi 1st leg: Adelaide United 2 (Dodd 31-, Rech 33-) - Sydney FC 2 (Corica 9-, Petrovski 39-) Minor semi 1st leg: Newcastle Jets 0 - Central Coast Mariners 1 (Osman 76-)

2006/07 SEASON Major semi 1st leg: Adelaide United 0 - Melbourne Victory 0 Minor semi 1st leg: Sydney FC 2 (Brosque 14-, Milligan 29-) - Newcastle Jets 1 (Rodriguez 71-)

2007/08 SEASON Major semi 1st leg: Newcastle Jets 2 (Adam Griffiths 22-, Joel Griffiths 85-pen) - Central Coast Mariners 0 Minor semi 1st leg: Sydney FC 0 - Queensland Roar 0