All eyes will be on Luis Garcia who's tipped to start as Tony Walmsley’s Mariners face the Reds juggernaut and their Spanish armada in Gosford this Sunday.
Sunday, 14 February 2016
Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 7:00 PM (Local) (7:00 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referee 1: Leigh Pigram
Assistant Referee 2: Kearney Robinson
Fourth Official: Ben Williams
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 92.5 ABC Central Coast, 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC Local Radio SA, 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 #CCMvADL
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, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 10.Luis GARCIA, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Alastair BRAY (gk), 15.Brad McDONALD, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Francesco STELLA, 19.Josh BINGHAM, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 23.Tomislav USKOK, 28.Matthew FLETCHER
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Mitch AUSTIN (return from injury), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (promoted), 17.Francesco STELLA (promoted)
Outs: 5.Harry ASCROFT (suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (suspended – 3 matches)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 6.Stefan MAUK, 7.PABLO SANCHEZ, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben Warland, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Mate DUGANDZIC, 20.John HALL (gk), 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Bruce KAMAU
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 15.Ben Warland (promoted), 24.Bruce KAMAU (promoted), 25.Ruon TONGYIK (promoted)
Outs: 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA (suspension – 3 matches), 21.Tarek ELRICH (suspension – 1 match)
Unavailable: 19.Eli BABALJ (knee – season)
The Mariners’ upturn in form since Luis Garcia’s arrival Mariners was abruptly ended last week - punished by a ruthless, glitzy Roar 4-0 in Brizvegas.
It was a timely reminder of the defensive consistency needed to be successful in this league.
Now, with the Spaniard set to start after three games off the bench, Central Coast will hope his presence will result in a more hard-nosed approach down back while he weaves his magic in the forward third.
The Mariners remain on the bottom of the ladder four points adrift while the Reds are the form team of the league – unbeaten in ten and looking a genuine finals threat.
United, however, are coming off a mediocre midweek loss in the Champions League, one that ended their chances of playing in the ACL group stage.
This hammer blow on the continental stage may well galvanise the squad with the A-League now the only competition left for them to make their mark.
But making things harder this week is the suspensions of Iacapo La Rocca and Tarek Elrich – both key defensive figures.
That said, with a host of players from Spain in the Reds squad – and a former Barcelona great coaching on the bench – this clash has a distinctive Spanish flavour.
And it should be great viewing for the neutrals.
- No team has hit the woodwork on more occasions than Adelaide in the A-League this season (11), while they are one of just two teams to have done at least 10 times.
- Adelaide United have scored a league-high four of the 14 goals netted in injury time (second half only) this season.
- Central Coast Mariners have conceded a league-high six goals in second half injury time this season.
- Adelaide United have won five of their last six regular season matches against Central Coast Mariners, including each of their last two.
- Prior to those matches, Central Coast had won nine matches in a row against the Adelaide side.
- Central Coast were blanked against Brisbane in their last round fixture, though they’ve not gone back-to-back A-League matches without scoring since Round 7 last season.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Garcia’s intelligence and ability to find pockets of space and play others through will be vital for the home side.
And it’ll be the Reds’ job of shutting this outlet down – made even more tricky by the fact that La Rocca and Elrich are suspended.
Around him, the Mariners have enough young and enthusiastic strikers and the quality of winger Fabio Ferreira to improve on their modest total of 23 goals.
For the Reds, the improving Bruce Djite and in-form Craig Goodwin and Pablo Sanchez will be the main outlets for a team that’s found its mojo and will be desperate to banish Tuesday night’s loss to Shandong Luneng by cementing its spot in the six.
Both sides featured in four goal games last round - and we're expecting goals in Gosford again.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
The Reds. Knocked out of the ACL group stage play-off by Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng.
Central Coast: DLLWL
Adelaide United WWWWD
Central Coast 2 Adelaide 2