The Aaron Mooy show comes to Gosford but can notoriously inconsistent City bring their A-game two weeks running? History suggests not, but who knows when they face Tony Walmsley's attack-minded Central Coast.
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City FC
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 8:00 PM (Local) (8:00 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Assistant Referee 1: Lance Greenshields
Assistant Referee 2: Andrej Giev
Fourth Official: Trent Nash
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 1 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 92.5 ABC Central Coast, 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local Radio Vic, ABC 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 #CCMvMCY
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Paul IZZO (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE (c), 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 14.Daniel HEFFERNAN, 15.Matthew SIM, 16.Liam ROSE, 19.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Anthony KALIK, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 23.Tomislav USKOK, 40.Tom HEWARD-BELLE
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Mitch AUSTIN (return from injury), 20.Anthony KALIK (promoted), 23.Tomislav USKOK (promoted)
Outs: 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (suspension – 1 week)
Unavailable: 7.Fabio FERREIRA, (hamstring - 1 week), 18.Glen TRIFIRO (back - 4 weeks)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 8.Aaron MOOY, 9.Harry NOVILLO, 15.David WILLIAMS, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 25.Jacob MELLING, 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 36.Matt MILLAR, 30.Hernan ESPINDOLA
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 19.Ben GARUCCIO (promoted), 24.Patrick KISNORBO (returns from injury), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (promoted
Outs: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee - season)
Unavailable: 3.Aaron HUGHES (calf - 1 week), 10.Robi KOREN (calf - 1 week), 11.Michael ZULLO (calf - undisclosed), 14.James BROWN (foot - 4-6 weeks), 26.Marc MARINO (knee - 4-6 weeks)
Thursday night football returns in Round 9 when the Mariners welcome Melbourne City to the wonderfully picturesque Central Coast stadium.
And wonderful is the only word to describe City last week. They mesmerised Perth Glory with the sublime Aaron Mooy running amok at AAMI Park in a 5-1 belting of Kenny Lowe’s men.
Central Coast, for their part, will be desperate to add some points to their undoubted entertainment factor, but with no midfield general in Nick Montgomery (suspended) and winger Fabio Ferreira still a week away from his return, it won’t be easy.
For City this clash is all about consistency having struggled to put strong performances back-to-back this season.
The Cityzens were 3-1 victors when these sides met at AAMI Park back in Round 3 and can jump to fourth with a win. The Mariners finals hopes will continue to diminish if they don’t snap their form slump.
These two sides have the poorest disciplinary records in the league this season so expect the referee to lay an early marker to ensure there’s no ‘anti-football’ in this one.
·Central Coast have conceded the first goal in all of their matches this season bar their lone win on the opening weekend.
·The Mariners’ goal conversion rate is joint bottom of the league at 11%.
·Jake McGing has had five shots at goal this season, of which 100% have been headers, the highest percentage of any player (minimum five shots)
·Melbourne City haven’t won consecutive Hyundai A-League matches since March 28th, 2015 (14 matches ago, including finals).
ROUTE TO GOAL
While the injury of speedy Fabio Ferreira continues to hurt the Yellow and Blue’s attacking threat, much will rest at the feet of Irishman Roy O’Donovan.
Returning speedster Mitch Austin on the flank will help ignite their attack too.
City have had no such troubles finding the back of the net in recent weeks, hitting nine in their past four matches.
Much like the goals the superlatives just keep flowing for Mooy, who had a hand in four of City’s five goals against Glory.
Striker Bruno Fornaroli will fancy his chances of edging ahead of Besart Berisha in the golden boot race, while the timely form upswing of Harry Novillo another ace in City’s attack pack.
John van ‘t Schip’s City lead the league for goals scored with 18 – four more than any other side, helped by a joint best conversion rate of 20%.
So goals are expected on Thursday night (see prediction below).
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK
Luckless Corey Gameiro. Melbourne City confirmed their forward will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his ACL in last week’s win over Glory. This is the second time in as many seasons the 22-year-old has suffered the injury and no doubt fans across the league wish the immensely likable striker all the best with his recovery.
FORM LINES (previous five league games)
Central Coast Mariners: LLDLL
Melbourne City: LWLDW
Central Coast 2 Melbourne City 4