Hyundai A-League preview: Adelaide v Central Coast
The improving Central Coast Mariners will face another tough trip on Saturday as they take on Adelaide United, who are undefeated in six games.
Saturday, 16 January 2016
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
Coopers Stadium, Hindmarsh
Kick-Off: 4:45 PM (Local) (5:15 PM (AEDT)
Referee: Matthew Conger
Assistant Referee 1: Paul Cetrangolo
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Toth
Fourth Official: Rick Schneider
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide, 92.5 ABC Central Coast, ABC Local Radio SA, Grandstand Digital, online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvCCM
To purchase tickets visit www.a-league.com.au/tickets
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.PABLO SANCHEZ, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.George MELLS, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Mate DUGANDZIC, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 19.Eli BABALJ, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 25.Ruon TONGYIK, 30.Daniel MARGUSH (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Osama MALIK (returns from injury), 17.Mate DUGANDZIC (promoted), 25.Ruon TONGYIK (promoted), 30.Daniel MARGUSH (gk) (promoted)
Outs: 20.John HALL (gk) (Olyroos duty), 23.Jordan ELSEY (suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: 24.Bruce KAMAU (hamstring – 1 week)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Alastair BRAY (GK), 15.Matthew SIM, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Francesco STELLA, 19.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Anthony KALIK, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 23.Tomislav USKOK, 25.Adam BERRY, 40.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 15.Matthew SIM (promoted), 20.Anthony KALIK (promoted), 25.Adam BERRY (promoted)
Outs: 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: 1.Paul IZZO (GK) (Olyroos duty), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (suspended – 7 matches)
Adelaide moved into the A-League's top six last week with their 3-1 win at Perth Glory, and Guillermo Amor's Reds will no doubt have plenty of confidence ahead of the visit of bottom club Central Coast.
The Mariners, however, have showed an upturn in form over the past fortnight.
Tony Walmsley's men notched a breakthrough win on New Year's Eve against Wellington Phoenix, while they blitzed Melbourne Victory in the first half in Geelong last week before drawing 3-3.
The opening 45 minutes at Simonds Stadium saw the Mariners click perfectly.
Central Coast sat deep in defence to frustrate Victory and with Mitch Austin, Fabio Ferreira and Josh Bingham up front; the Mariners were lethal on the break.
Many had expected the absence of suspended Roy O'Donovan to ruin the Mariners' attacking set-up but 21-year-old Bingham looks to have grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
Central Coast are on the road for the second week in a row as they head to Coopers Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Adelaide will welcome Walmsley's side to South Australia's capital having won their past three home games.
The Reds' six-match unbeaten run has seen them overhaul Wellington Phoenix and another win against the Mariners could take them within a point of fifth-placed Melbourne Victory.
Defence has been critical to an upturn of fortunes for Amor and Co. Adelaide have conceded just two goals during their current streak.
Winger Craig Goodwin has been impressive for the South Australians over the past few weeks, scoring two goals in three matches.
Adelaide have won four of their last five A-League regular season matches against Central Coast, keeping three clean sheets in that span
Central Coast haven’t won an away fixture in the A-League - including finals - since April 2014 (D7, L14)
Adelaide last won four straight home matches in December 2010
The Mariners have scored eight set piece goals in 2015-16, behind only Melbourne City (9)
ROUTE TO GOAL
Sergio Cirio's return to the scoreboard last week will have been a source of relief for all those involved with Adelaide.
The Spanish forward has struggled in front of goal this term with a scoring rate of one goal every seven matches.
In his first two A-League seasons, Cirio scored at better than one goal every four games, and Amor will certainly be hoping the diminutive attacker can improve throughout the second half of the campaign.
Adelaide's attack remains a work in progress, however, with their two centre-forwards - Bruce Djite and Eli Babalj - having failed to score this term.
At the start of the season, Walmsley put the majority of the Mariners' attacking responsibility on the shoulders of O'Donovan and attacking midfielders Anthony Caceres and Nick Fitzgerald.
But with O'Donovan suspended, Fitzgerald released and Caceres expected to leave, Walmsley may, ironically, have found a better attacking formula.
Bingham did a top job as Central Coast's centre-forward against Victory, scoring the Mariners' second goal and setting up the third for Austin.
In midfield, a more conservative trio of Nick Montgomery, Jake McGing and Michael Neill makes Central Coast more energetic in the centre of the pitch, and the entire XI slightly more balanced.
But in a blow to the visitors' defensive prospects, Jacob Poscoliero is suspended.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Marcelo Carrusca. The Argentine attacking midfielder notched an assist and a goal in last week's 3-1 win in Perth and was named in the A-League team of the week. .
Adelaide United: WDWDW
Central Coast Mariners: LLLWD
Adelaide United 2-1 Central Coast Mariners