Twilight football in Gosford is surely the A-League's most picturesque spectacle. But can these two sides at opposite ends of the ladder match the aesthetics on the pitch?
Sunday, 20 December 2015
Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar FC
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Ashley Beecham
Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick
Fourth Official: Strebre Delovski
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 92.5 ABC Central Coast, 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Local Radio Qld, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Coast FM 96.3 (Central Coast)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvBRI
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD,15.Matthew SIM, 16.Liam ROSE, 19.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Anthony KALIK, 23.Tomislav USKOK, 25.Adam BERRY 40.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk)
**two to omitted**
Ins: 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (promoted), 22.Jake McGING (promoted) 25.Adam BERRY (promoted)
Outs: 24.Jake ADELSON (knee – indefinite awaiting scan results)
Unavailable: 7.Fabio FERREIRA (hamstring – 1 week), 18.Glen TRIFIRO (back – 2 weeks)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.HENRIQUE, 11.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 36.Andre JANNESE (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Corey BROWN (promoted), 28.Brandon BORRELLO (promoted)
After suffering four defeats on the trot and a week of turmoil it’s time for the Mariners to batten down the hatches.
Tony Walmsley’s side have only been held goalless once this season but tellingly have failed to register a clean sheet.
With nearest rivals Adelaide and Perth both notching back-to-back wins Central Coast are now rooted to the foot of the ladder.
If ever a side was in desperate need of a morale boosting win it’s this weekend.
Standing in their way will be a Brisbane side brimming with confidence following their comeback win over Phoenix in clammy Cairns last week.
John Aloisi’s side are back up to second, with complacency the only major concern in a clash they’ll be expected to win comfortably.
Brisbane Roar have won each of their last three matches against Central Coast Mariners in the Hyundai A-League inc. play-offs.
Brisbane Roar have scored eight goals in their last two matches against Central Coast, conceding only two in the process.
Central Coast Mariners have scored just eight goals in their last nine A-League matches, earning only two draws in that span (L7).
Only Roly Bonevacia (37) has been fouled more times in the A-League this season than Mariners' Anthony Caceres (34).
ROUTE TO GOAL
When assessing the Mariners’ firepower the finger consistently gets pointed at lone striker Roy O’Donovan but it’s time for their talented young midfielders to shoulder more responsibility.
Caceres, Fitzgerald and Austin have all sparkled at various stages throughout the season but need to put the ball in the back of the net via any means possible if they’re to stand a chance.
The home side have been given a late boost with Portuguese winger Fabio Ferreira in line for a return from a leg injury picked up in Round 5.
It’s a different story at Brisbane with coach John Aloisi seemingly having an abundance of attacking options at his disposal.
Henrique has forced his way into Roar’s starting side, while Jean Carlos Solorzano made a successful return off the bench against the Phoenix.
It meant second-placed leading scorer Brandon Borrello, who banked a brace when these sides met back in Round 2, was left out of the match day squad all together.
Olyroo striker Jamie Maclaren will fancy his chances of adding to his season tally of six, while Brisbane’s bench has contributed three goals in their last five outings.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
The Mariners. There were reports of a potential player exodus during the January transfer window due to unpaid superannuation payments. Subsequently, skipper Nick Montgomery was quick to dispel talk of squad disharmony with owner Mike Charlesworth also going on the record to say any financial irregularities would be sorted out.
Central Coast Mariners 1 – 3 Brisbane Roar