Hyundai A-League preview: Mariners v Phoenix

Entertainment is guaranteed but can the gung-ho attacking instincts of the Mariners also deliver three desperately needed points against a club equally keen to make a statement of intent?

MATCH DETAILS

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford


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

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1: Lance Greenshields

Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick

Fourth Official: Matthew Cropper

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

#CCMvWEL


Radio Broadcast: 92.5 Central Coast** & Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Coast FM 96.3 (Central Coast)

**after the completion of the cricket coverage

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

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), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Anthony CACERES, 14.Daniel HEFFERNAN, 15. Matthew SIM, 16.Liam ROSE, 20.Anthony KALIK, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 23.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.Brian JAMBA, 30.Adam PEARCE (gk)

**Two to be omitted**

Mariners' Eddy Bosnar celebrates his goal in the 3-3 draw with the Roar.


Ins: 15. Matthew SIM (promoted), 23.Eddy BOSNAR (promoted), 26.Brian JAMBA  (promoted)

Outs: 11.Nick FITZGERALD (suspended)

Unavailable: 18.Glen TRIFIRO (back – 1 week), 5.Harry ASCROFT (wrist – 3 weeks)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Justin GULLEY, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Troy DANASKOS, 7.Jeffrey SARPONG, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 12.Blake Powell, 13.Albert RIERA, 14.Alex RUFER, 16.Louis FENTON, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON

**Two to be omitted**

Andrew Durante will lead Wellington Phoenix in Sunday's Elimination Final against Melbourne City FC.


Ins: 3.Justin GULLEY (promoted), 5.Troy DANASKOS (promoted), 14.Alex RUFER (promoted)

Outs: 17.Vince LIA (hamstring – 6-8 weeks)

Unavailable: nil

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

For the Mariners it’s been an up and down season thus far. Loads of entertaining fare and an opening day three points to lift the mood, but they’ve conceded 10 goals (a league high figure going into Round 5) and haven’t won since that win over Glory.

Tony Walmsley’s side, ninth on the ladder, may see this one as winnable.

The Mariners celebrate scoring at Central Coast Stadium.

But so will Wellington, in fifth going into this round, who'll be secretly delighted to see key midfielder Nick Fitzgerald named in the 'outs' ledger.

The yellow and blacks knocked Central Coast out of the FFA Cup on this very ground a few months ago. What's more, Phoenix have a stable and strong squad featuring the in-form Michael McGlinchey lurking in midfield, and a team hell-bent on proving they deserve to pay in the A-League.

Wellington are coming off a loss at Victory last Monday night but they will see this as three points they must – and perhaps should – take.

Expect an open 90 minutes of football and a few goals.

OPTA DATA

•         No player has created more chances (inc. assists) for his teammates than Phoenix’s Michael McGlinchey (14).

•         Central Coast have faced 31 shots on target so far in this A-League campaign; seven more than any other team.

•         Wellington’s Ben Sigmund has made the more clearances than any other A-League player this campaign (23)

ROUTE TO GOAL

For the visitors, former Mariner McGlinchey starts so much from midfield. And his attacking instincts in the final third - when combining with the excellent Roly Bonevacia and Roy Krishna - make him arguably their most dangerous player . Wellington enjoy exploiting the central channels with pace and if Phoenix can similarly exploit what Graham Arnold pointed out last week - Central Coast's wingers' defensive work - they'll find some joy for sure.

Roy Krishna netted Wellington's second in their 3-2 win over the Roar.


The home side will again put their faith in said pacy wingers (Ferreira and Austin) with O'Donovan central. Though Nick Fitzgerald's loss will be felt. The midfielder - red-carded last week - has been superb this season along with Anthony Caceres. And watch out for big Dan Heffernan - the former FFA Cup hero might get a chance to show off his finishing skills off the bench.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Jake McGing. The Central Coast  defender was named in www.a-league.com.au Team of the Week for Round 4.

FORM LINES

Central Coast: WLLL
Wellington Phoenix: LWWL

PREDICTION

Central Coast 3-2 Wellington Phoenix