Hyundai A-League preview: Mariners v City

Central Coast Mariners host Melbourne City in Gosford on Sunday with contrasting Finals Series ambitions for both sides.

MATCH DETAILS

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City FC

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT))

Referee: Adam Fielding

Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling

Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero

Fourth Official: Ben Abraham

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 4.30pm (AEDT)

Radio Broadcast: ABC Radio Melbourne, ABC Radio Vic, Grandstand Digital Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, 1116 SEN (Melbourne), Coast FM 96.3

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvMCY

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Blake POWELL, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING
**two to be omitted** 

Ins: 6.Blake POWELL (return from injury), 21.Michael NEILL (promoted)

Blake Powell

Outs: Nil 

Unavailable: 10.Mickael TAVARES (ankle – indefinite), 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Osama MALIK, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN, 34.Denis GENREAU, 40.Yaren SOZER (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 9.Nicolas COLAZO (promoted), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN (returns from injury), 34.Denis GENREAU (promoted) 

Nicolas Colazo

Outs: 2.Manny MUSCAT (suspended – 1 match)

Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk) (suspended – 2 matches), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season)

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Central Coast’s hopes of a late season surge into the top six are still flickering - so a win here is a must. 

Likewise for City in fourth spot, who have Roar (fifth) and Glory (third) also desperate to finish third or fourth and lock in a home Elimination Final. 

The Mariners toiled hard in last weekend’s F3 Derby to earn a point against fellow finals aspirants the Jets but with a daunting run home Paul Okon's men need to claim maximum points on Sunday.

Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners finished all square in a 1-1 draw at McDonald Jones Stadium.

They’ll fancy their chances against a City side that have lacked consistency this season - and only have one win from nine visits to Gosford (D2, L6).

In saying that City are undefeated in their last five matches against the Central Coast (W4, D1), including a 2-1 triumph when the squads last met back in Round 16.

Michael Valkanis’ side will be hoping to reprise the fluency in attack they showed on the road against the Phoenix a fortnight ago after they were given a reality check by the Sky Blues last weekend.

That 3-1 loss has the Westfield FFA Cup winners in danger of missing out on a top four finish but they’ll no doubt benefit from having a nine day break.

#CCMvMCY - City’s Ivan Franjic has made 77 crosses this Hyundai A-League campaign, more than any other player and 34 more than Mariners’ best Fabio Ferreira (43).

Blake Powell has again been named to make his return from injury for the home side and could be a welcome addition to the Mariners options in attack.

Meanwhile City will be boosted by the return of Michael Jakobsen, who should slot straight into the starting backline for the suspended Manny Muscat.

OPTA STATS

Hyundai A-League Round 22 stats preview

ROUTE TO GOAL

Mariners marksman Roy O’Donovan has been kept relatively quiet the past couple of weeks but no doubt he’ll be itching for another chance to inflict the right sort of pain on City.

The Irishman has scored in the two previous meetings between these teams this season, however he followed up his equaliser with an unfortunate red card last time out.

Roy O'Donovan.

O’Donovan was also guilty of missing a glorious chance to put his side two goals to the good when these sides met in Gosford on New Year’s Eve, so his contribution will be critical.

City’s Tim Cahill has also stamped his name on the scoresheet in the last two match-ups between these two, including a first-half double when they last met in Melbourne.

With Socceroos selection coming up he’ll be determined to get more game time in. 

Tim Cahill salutes the Melbourne City fans after his goal against Perth Glory at AAMI Park.

Similarly the likes of Ivan Franjic, Luke Brattan and Neil Kilkenny will see this match as an ideal chance to push their case for national team inclusion.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Scott Galloway. The Mariners defender hit a cracking equaliser in the F3 Derby and having given away the penalty that allowed City a late equaliser on New Year's Eve, the 21-year-old will be keen to make amends. 

FORM LINES (last five games)

Mariners:  WWWLD
City: LLDWL

PREDICTION

Central Coast Mariners 1-3 Melbourne City