Will the Sky Blues’ incredible unbeaten run roll on in 2017? Or will the reinvigorated Mariners, fresh from surprising Melbourne City on New Year's Eve, cause a huge upset in Gosford this Sunday?
Sunday, 8 January 2017
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Andrej Giev
Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor
Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 92.5 ABC Central Coast, 702 ABC Sydney, ABC Local Radio NSW, 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 #CCMvSYD
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, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING
Ins: 2.Storm ROUX (return from injury), 16.Liam ROSE (promoted), 17.Josh BINGHAM (promoted)
Outs: 19.Jacques FATY (hamstring – 1 week)
Unavailable: 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)
Sydney FC Squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Sebastian RYALL, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Charles LOKOLINGOY, 25. Patrick FLOTTMAN.
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (new signing), 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC (promoted), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted), 24.Charles LOKOLINGOY (promoted), 25. Patrick FLOTTMAN (promoted).
Outs: 5.Matt JURMAN (transferred overseas), 14.Alex BROSQUE (c) (suspended – 1 week), 31.Tomas MANOS (return to NYL)
There’s no bigger test than facing the Sky Blues juggernaut at the moment but the Mariners will really have nothing to lose when they host the league leaders to complete Round 14.
Recent history between the two sides suggests Central Coast stand little chance of gazumping their former coach, with Sydney FC undefeated in the last seven meetings and scoring ten goals across their last three excursions to Gosford.
Instead, Paul Okon’s side will prefer to look to their second half showing against City on New Year’s Eve, where they were minutes away from completing a remarkable comeback win.
They used their speed on the flanks to great effect, exposing City on the break and coming up with a couple of classy finishes – something they’ve failed to produce on a consistent basis this season.
Graham Arnold will no doubt have taken note and while Sydney FC deposed of title rivals Roar in commanding fashion last Friday night, a plucky Mariners side will be a different type of proposition.
After a busy festive schedule both sides will benefit from over a week’s rest – something the Sky Blues will be especially grateful for after they had to play the last half hour at Allianz Stadium with ten men.
Their skipper Alex Brosque will miss the match due to a subsequent suspension, while Seb Ryall seems the obvious candidate to replace the departed Matt Jurman in central defence after his move to the K-League this week.
The home side will also be forced into a backline reshuffle with Jacques Faty failing a fitness test on his injured hamstring, however the return of New Zealand international Storm Roux is a big inclusion.
The Mariners will wear a specially designed pink strip in support of breast cancer for this clash with the kits to be auctioned post-match and profits going to Cancer Council NSW.