Mike Mulvey appears to have infused the Central Coast Mariners with a hardened edge.
The Mariners' spirit was obvious in a battling draw with City in Round 2, and that nicely sets a home clash with Adelaide on Sunday afternoon.
Adelaide fought back bravely to rescue a result against Newcastle last time out in the Hyundai A-League and will enter the match ecstatic after claiming the FFA Cup Final 2018 on Tuesday night.
The chance for either team to push away from their opponents on the ladder will ensure a tantalising conclusion to the weekend's action.
KEY OPTA STATS
- Adelaide United have won seven of their last 10 games against Central Coast Mariners (D1, L2) and are undefeated in their last four games against them (W3, D1).
- Neither Central Coast or Adelaide have kept a clean sheet in the last five times that the Mariners have hosted the fixture.
- Central Coast Mariners are winless in their last eight games overall, conceding an average of three goals per game across that span.
INS AND OUTS
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY, 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 13.Aiden O’NEILL, 15.Kye ROWLES, 18.Matt MILLAR, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 20.Kalifa CISSE, 22.Jacob MELLING, 25.Jordan MURRAY, 44.Ross McCORMACK
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 7.Andrew HOOLE (return from injury), 18.Matt MILLAR (promoted)
Unavailable: 2.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS (ACL), Corey GAMEIRO (Hamstring)
Adelaide United squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Ryan STRAIN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 10.Ken ILSØ, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 30.Isaac RICHARDS (gk), 31.Mirko BOLAND, 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Ryan KITTO (returns from injury), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ (promoted), 31.Mirko BOLAND (returns from injury), 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (returns from international duty)
Outs: 9.Baba DIAWARA (knee), 14.George BLACKWOOD (collar bone)
HOW TO WATCH
See how Round 3 finishes on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5:00pm (AEDT) or tune in on the MyFootball Live App.
Secure your ticket for the Mariners home clash with Adelaide here.