In recent seasons this might have been a dour dogfight but now, open and fiery football awaits this Thursday night in Gosford.
Thursday, 24 November 2016
Central Coast Mariners v Perth Glory
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling
Assistant Referee 2: Kearney Robinson
Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport Pop-Up 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand Digital, online and via the app, EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com), Coast FM 96.3
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvPER
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Blake POWELL, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Mickael TAVARES, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 24.Reece PAPADIMITRIOS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Scott GALLOWAY (return from injury), 13.Kwabena APPIAH (promoted), 24.Reece PAPADIMITRIOS (promoted)
Outs: 16.Liam ROSE (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (quad strain – 1 week), 19.Jacques FATY (knee – 1 week), 23.Jake Adelson (ACL – indefinite)
Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13.Nicholas FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 16.Joe MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Kosta PETRATOS, 24.Milan SMILJANIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Dino DJULBIC (promoted), 7.Joel CHIANESE (return from injury), 18.Mitch OXBORROW (promoted)
Outs: 15.Brandon WILSON (not selected)
Perth Glory remain the Hyundai A-League’s masters of inconsistency in the 2016/17 Season.
Just five days after their 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Sydney FC, Kenny Lowe’s side came out and beat champions Adelaide United 3-1 last Friday night. Yes, the Reds are struggling but still, there's plenty of quality in Reds ranks.
It makes it difficult to get a gauge on what Glory will dish up on a weekly basis.
But it would seem it’s just a matter of time before they click consistently, especially with the quality flowing through the squad.
They head to Gosford to take on a Mariners side that has been equally hot and cold over the opening seven rounds.
Paul Okon’s troops have lost just one of their last four games but have managed just the one win all season.
They’ve been unable to put a full 90-minute performance together, as we saw in the F3 Derby draw with the Jets last Sunday.
The Mariners were exceptional in the first half and probably should have led by more than one goal but fell away after the break, and in the end were lucky to escape with a point.
In team news, the Mariners are facing a bit of a shortage in central defence with Liam Rose suspended, while Jacob Poscoliero and Jacques Faty are out through injury.
Okon may opt to shift skipper Nick Montgomery into the back four and bring Adam Berry into midfield.
For Glory, Dino Djulbic returns from injury, giving Kenny Lowe plenty of options in central defence alongside Rhys Williams, Shane Lowry and Alex Grant.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Glory has become great entertainers in the Hyundai A-League of late.
Not only has Kenny Lowe’s side scored 15 times this season, they’ve also shipped 14 at the other end, meaning there’s a good chance we’ll see plenty of goals in this one.
While Lowe will undoubtedly be working on tightening up their defence, he must be thrilled at how well the attacking side of their game is going.
Diego Castro, Nebojsa Marinkovic and Chris Harold are providing great service to striker Andy Keogh, who is cashing in with six goals to his name.
If the Mariners aren’t on their game at the back, that quartet will make them pay. With Adam Taggart also waiting in the wings, Glory is blessed with so much firepower.
For the home side, their best outlet remains wide men Connor Pain and Fabio Ferreira.
Their speed is a threat and the Mariners should look to get them in behind Glory’s fullbacks at every opportunity.
It will be interesting to see how long Okon persists with Blake Powell in the number 10 role, though.
The ex-Sydney FC and Wellington attacker always gives his all but hasn’t really come to grips with the role.
Set pieces is likely to be a big avenue to goal for these sides as well, with both finding the net from dead-ball situations last weekend.
And don’t forget, these two played out a 3-3 draw in Round 1 this season so there's every expectation of goals in Gosford.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Andy Keogh. Has started the season in ominous form. His double last week has not only taken his tally to six goals from seven games to sit alongside Bruno Fornaroli at the top of the scoring charts, but also won him a spot in our Team of the Week. And he insists the best it still to come!
FORM LINES (last five games)
Central Coast Mariners 1-2 Perth Glory