Hyundai A-League preview: Mariners v Wanderers

In recent seasons, a dour dogfight might have ensued. Not now. Flashy, sexy football from both outfits coupled with a superb atmosphere awaits Sunday’s spectacular on the Coast.

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MATCH DETAILS

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers FC

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

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

Referee: Alan Milliner

Assistant Referee 1: Anton Shchetinin

Assistant Referee 2: James Tesorierio

Fourth Official: Strebre Delovski

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

#CCMvWSW

Radio Broadcast: 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 #CCMvWSW

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, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 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, 30.Adam PEARCE (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 14.Daniel HEFFERNAN (promoted), 22.Jake McGING (return from suspension), 21.Michael NEILL (promoted)

Chris Harold fights for the ball with Mariners defender Michael Neill in the opening round.

Outs: 24.Jake ADELSON (not selected)

Unavailable: 7.Fabio FERREIRA (hamstring – 1 week), 18.Glen TRIFIRO (back – 4 weeks)

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Romeo CASTELEN, 8.DIMAS, 9.Federico PIOVACCARI, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.ALBERTO, 18.ANDREU, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21.Jacob PEPPER, 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 33.Joshua MACDONALD

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (promoted), 33.Joshua MACDONALD (promoted)

Jaushua Sotirio had a goal disallowed against Sydney FC.

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

The Mariners’ record may not be too flash (W1, D2, L4) but the team eighth on the ladder at the start of this round are tops for entertainment.

Tony Walmsley’s all-out-attack mantra has won many admirers but, like Wanderers, their evolution is a work in progress.

Mariners players form a huddle prior to their 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix.

The trouble is, Wanderers are further down the track in their progression and, unlike the Mariners, are smashing out wins.

As a result, the red and black are rocketing up the ladder courtesy of four eye-catching wins on the spin and are one point off top spot going into this round.

Entertainment will be the order of the day in Gosford on Sunday.

It could be a Gosford classic to rival the famous 5-4. 

Wanderers players celebrate a goal in their 3-0 win over Melbourne City.

OPTA DATA

· There have been only 15 goals scored in the 11 matches between these sides in the ALeague with the Mariners holding an 8-7 goal advantage.

· Wanderers have kept a clean sheet in each of their victories over the Mariners.

· A fifth consecutive win for Western Sydney would be their second longest streak in club history and longest since they won 10 in a row in their inaugural season.

· Anthony Caceres (49) can this week become the first player to take 50 total corners this season.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Mariners will press high and fast, shackling Wanderers from playing out, in particular by blocking service from the back to the visitors' Spanish controlling midfielder Andreu and blocking the channels for forward runs of Jamieson in particular (one of the best attacking full backs in the league). 

And in transition the home side have pace down the wings through Austin (though minus the injured Ferreira on the right flank) with Caceres and Fitzgerald as the creative outlets centrally to work with O’Donovan upfront.

Mariners striker Roy O'Donovan celebrates scoring the opener at Central Coast Stadium.

What's more, there's the goal-machine that is Matty Sim - the unsung hero of the Mariners is in a rich vein of scoring form. 

If the Wanderers can negotiate their way through the press, dominate possession and get their attacking midfielders on the ball, some young Central Coast defenders (including the returning Jake McGing) will be asked some serious questions by the likes of Bridge, Piovaccari, Vidosic, Santalab and Nichols.

Still, the old days won’t be completely lost with Mariners central striker Roy O’Donovan versus Wanderers skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley expected to be as rough as any this weekend.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Mariners. They signed a new player from the PS4 NPL Victoria, talented defender Tomislav Uskok. 

FORM LINES (previous five games)

Mariners: LLDDL

Wanderers: LWWWW

PREDICTION

Central Coast Mariners 2 Western Sydney Wanderers 3