Hyundai A-League preview: Mariners v Reds
Central Coast Mariners take a "home" game to the nation’s capital for the second time this season and will be hoping for a better result when they tackle the tenth-placed Reds on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, 5 February 2017
Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
GIO Stadium (Canberra)
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT))
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn
Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor
Fourth Official: Luke Withell
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Radio Canberra, ABC Adelaide, ABC Central Coast, ABC Radio SA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Coast FM 96.3
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvADL
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: 5.Harry ASCROFT (promoted), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (return from suspension), 21.Michael NEILL (promoted)
Outs: 26.Steve WHYTE (not selected)
Unavailable: 10.Mickael TAVARES (ankle injury – indefinite), 19.Jacques FATY (hamstring – indefinite), 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 8.ISAÍAS, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 13.Marc MARINO, 14.George MELLS, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Jordan O'DOHERTY
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (returns from injury), 12.Mark OCHIENG (promoted), 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS (promoted), 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY (promoted)
Outs: 7.HENRIQUE (not selected), 22.Ryan KITTO (hamstring – 6-7 weeks)
Unavailable: 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season)
The Mariners have shifted a ‘home’ fixture to Canberra for the second time in three months, with Paul Okon’s side having lost to Wellington Phoenix 2-0 back in November.
But fresh from a drought-breaking win over Perth Glory at home last weekend, the Yellow and Navy will be confident of knocking off the bottom-placed Reds.
And put simply, this is a must-win for the Mariners.
Skipper Nick Montgomery refused to rule out Central Coast pushing for a late finals charge last weekend, but with seven points separating the Mariners from sixth-placed Newcastle, Okon’s side need a consistent run of results.
A rare clean sheet against Glory – just their second of the season – was the key to last weekend’s triumph and another strong defensive showing will be crucial in order to gain maximum points this weekend.
The Mariners have conceded the most goals (34) in the competition this season but Adelaide aren’t far behind having copped 30 goals in 17 matches.
The Reds showed positive signs last weekend in scorching conditions at Coopers Stadium, coming from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw against Wellington Phoenix.
Gui Amor’s side dominated large periods against the Nix, recording a staggering 27 shots to eight, but a lack of polish in the final third proved costly.
And with temperatures nudging 40 degrees in the City of Churches, do the Reds have the legs to run out 90 minutes after such an energy-sapping performance?
With finals looking increasingly unlikely - and after losing key players James Holland and Sergi Guardiola in recent weeks and Henrique not selected - is it time Adelaide switch focus to their upcoming ACL commitments?
- Adelaide United have scored only one goal in their last five games away from home, conceding eight in the process.
- Central Coast will now be looking for back-to-back ‘home’ wins within the same season for the first time since the opening week of the 2014/15 play-offs.
ROUTE TO GOAL
The Mariners will be given a huge boost in attack with leading goal-scorer Roy O’Donovan (8 goals) returning after missing last week through suspension.
The Irishman will slot straight back into the starting line-up with Josh Bingham likely to drop back to the bench despite his goal against the Glory.
Paul Okon deployed speedsters Fabio Ferreira, Connor Pain and Trent Buhagiar in the same starting line-up last weekend and it proved a masterstroke with the Mariners cutting Glory apart in transition.
For Adelaide, Gui Amor has given opportunities to youngsters Riley McGree, Nikola Mileusnic and Marc Marino in recent weeks, with the trio rewarding the Spaniard with some encouraging performances.
McGree and Miluesnic both found the net against the Phoenix and could both start on Sunday with winger Ryan Kitto ruled out with a hamstring complaint and not due back for another 6-7 weeks.
Brazilian attacker Henrique has been left out of the squad completely amid reports he’s set to depart Coopers Stadium, while star playmaker Marcelo Carrusca has been named to return from injury.
Sergio Cirio showed glimpses of his best last weekend and the Reds desperately need the experienced winger to fire if they are to finish the season strongly.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Josh Bingham. The young Mariners striker deputised for the suspended Roy O’Donovan against the Glory and scored in his first start of the season in a 2-0 win.