Mariners stick with winning formula

Mariners coach Graham Arnold is tipped to name an unchanged line-up For the second week in succession as Central Coast strive for three Hyundai A-League wins in a row against Melbourne Victory at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold is tipped to name an unchanged line-up For the second week in succession as Central Coast strive for three Hyundai A-League wins in a row against Melbourne Victory at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.

After a lacklustre start to the year, the Mariners have hit form with wins over Perth and Wellington in their past two matches.

Last week's 2-1 win over the Phoenix in New Zealand was the team's best effort of the year and Arnold is expecting more of the same against the Victory.

Arnold said even without Qantas Socceroos superstar Harry Kewell that Victory was one of the most dangerous teams in the competition.

"We came back from New Zealand healthy and fit; training has been good all week,'' Arnold said.

"The players have done a good job during the past two weeks, they deserve to keep their spots.''

With Kewell missing, Arnold has pinpointed in-form Victory striker Archie Thompson as the man to to watch for Victory.

Thompson has a good goalscoring record against the Mariners and was at his potent best as the nine-man Victory scored a memorable 2-2 draw with Brisbane last week.

"He is one we have to target,'' Arnold said.

"We can't give him space; we've got to double on him when we can but we can't just focus on Archie, they've got plenty of players who can hurt you.''

"Our home form has been good for the past two seasons so I'm confident we can win.''

The Mariners boss will be hoping strikers Matt Simon and youngster Bernie Ibini-Isei continue to prosper up front. The pair will both be out to score for the third match in succession on Saturday night.

Veteran Daniel McBreen, normally a striker, will again play at the pointy end of Arnold's midfield diamond.