Hyundai A-League preview: Wanderers v Mariners

​Western Sydney Wanderers have taken maximum points from Central Coast this season, but can they win when it matters most? Pirtek Stadium is in for a final famous night before the knockdown-rebuild.

CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE LIVE MATCH CENTRE

 

MATCH DETAILS

Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Central Coast Mariners

Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta

Kick-Off: 7:40 PM (Local) (7:40 PM AEDT)

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling

Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero

Fourth Official: Luke Withell

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS TWO from 7:30pm AEDT and Sky Sport Pop-Up (New Zealand)

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 #WSWvCCM

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Romeo CASTELEN, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 17.ALBERTO, 18.ANDREU, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21.Jacob PEPPER, 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 30.Liam REDDY (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 5.Brendan HAMILL (promoted), 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU (promoted), 21.Jacob PEPPER (promoted), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS (promoted)

Hamill is hoping for a clash with Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Outs: 8.DIMAS (suspended – 1 game), 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (not selected)

Unavailable: Nil

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Luis GARCIA, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 15.Brad McDONALD, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Francesco STELLA, 19.Josh BINGHAM, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 28.Matthew FLETCHER, 40.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c) (return from injury), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (promoted), 40.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK) (promoted)

Central Coast Mariners captain Nick Montgomery.

Outs: 30.Adam PEARCE (gk) (omitted)

Unavailable: 2.Storm ROUX (fractured fibula – season), 13.Alastair BRAY (GK) (torn meniscus – season)

#WSWvCCM

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Western Sydney this week announced a temporary shift to the Sydney Olympic Park precinct while Pirtek Stadium undergoes redevelopments.

The former Premiers must add another three points to their catalogue of memories at Wanderland if a second piece of Hyundai A-League silverware is to remain possible.

Last weekend’s 2-0 defeat away to Melbourne Victory set those aspirations back some distance; two points to be exact.

Wanderers' Romeo Castelen and Dimas rue a missed chance against the Reds.

 It doesn’t sound like much but the margin is surely only recoverable if they can take six points -starting against the visiting Mariners.

Central Coast did manage to manage give title-chasing Adelaide United a brief scare last Sunday, although they were overpowered for much of the 74 minutes that followed Roy O’Donovan’s classy opener.

Only an improbable fourth victory of 2015/16 would keep alive their chances of avoiding a new club record for fewest wins in a Hyundai A-League season.

A surprise result here, and another at home to derby rivals Newcastle in the final round, would be some reward for their supporters.

Luis Garcia is set to start his first match for the Mariners this weekend.

Tony Walmsley’s mantra is to look to the future, but perhaps just this once he will roll footage of the drought-breaking 2012/13 Grand Final for inspiration.

OPTA DATA 

Unless Central Coast can muster wins in their final two matches of the season, their 2015/16 campaign will see them accrue their fewest wins ever in a Hyundai A-League season (currently on 3, 5 wins in 2014/15)

- Whenever the Wanderers have gone ahead at home in the Hyundai A-League this season, they have gone onto win (Seven games – seven wins).

- The Mariners have dropped 14 points from winning positions in the Hyundai A-League this season; more than any other side.

ROUTE TO GOAL

All expectation will be on the Wanderers to attack from the outset.

Tony Popovic’s side has been kept scoreless over the last two rounds, ensuring pressure will intensify with every passing minute.

Joint leading scorers Mark Bridge and Mitch Nichols – who boast one each against the Gosford side this term – are both without a goal since the mid-February defeat to Wellington Phoenix.

Mitch Nichols celebrates a goal during the Wanderers' 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets.

That could all be the recipe for another Brendon Santalab late show given the super-sub’s five-goal haul from the bench.

He’s already netted twice against the Mariners this season and must be firmly in the reckoning for a second start of the campaign.

Roy O’Donovan will need to be watched closely at the other end as he proved last week that barely half a chance is enough to score.

That brace boosted his tally to three in two and the Mariners will hope to ride his momentum into one of the most important matches of the season.

Fabio Ferreira scored the last time these two teams met and could prosper again if Liam Rose is providing the same level of service as last week’s opener at Coopers Stadium.

Mariners winger Fabio Ferreira dribbles with the ball alongside Reds defenders Tarek Elrich and Isaias.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Roy O’Donovan. The 30-year-old’s world-class volley at Coopers Stadium last Sunday earned him headlines here and back in his native Ireland.

FORM LINES

Western Sydney Wanderers: WLWDL

Central Coast Mariners: LLLDL

PREDICTION

Western Sydney Wanderers 3-0 Central Coast Mariners