Match preview: Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
Central Coast Mariners boss Mike Mulvey is expected to make wholesale changes for Sunday’s F3 derby against Newcastle Jets (kick off 5.00pm AEDT).
The bottom-placed Mariners remain winless after eight rounds and Mulvey suggested he would bring in a host of younger players for the Jets clash after watching his side suffer a 2-0 defeat in Wellington last time out.
“It’s come to the time where we’ve got to trust in our youth… they don’t have any fear,” he said.
“Some lads unfortunately get a little bit gripped by fear."
Youngsters Josh Macdonald and Mario Shabow featured as second-half substitutes in New Zealand and could figure from the start in Gosford.
Central Coast has won just one of their last 26 Hyundai A-League matches and lost all three of their matches against the Jets last season, which included two thrashings (8-2 and 5-1).
In saying all that, Newcastle Jets are not in amazing form themselves. But despite registering only two wins in eight games - with those two wins coming in the last four rounds - Newcastle are still only three points out of a top-six place.
But the Jets finally welcome back their star striker Roy O'Donovan after the Irishman served the last of his 10-game ban last weekend.
And O'Donovan loves to face his former club, scoring a hat-trick against the Mariners in the opening round of last season, as well as a brace in the 8-2 drubbing at the end of the last campaign.
The Mariners will be out to fight though, particularly in an F3 Derby that means so much to each side.
Key Opta stats
- Newcastle Jets have won their last three F3 Derbies, scoring 15 goals in the process. Neither team has managed to string together four consecutive wins in the history of the fixture
- Only one side (Wellington Phoenix, 44.9%) has averaged a lower share of possession this term than Central Coast Mariners (45.2%).
- The Jets have made 68 passes into the final third per game this Hyundai A-League season, more than any other team in the competition.
Ins and outs
Central Coast Mariners squad: 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 13.Aiden O’NEILL, 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Josh MACDONALD, 17.Peter KEKERIS, 18.Matt MILLAR, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 20.Kalifa CISSE, 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Mario SHABOW, 24.Joe GAUCI, 25.Jordan MURRAY **two to be omitted**
Ins: 17.Peter KEKERIS, 22.Jacob MELLING (return from illness)
Unavailable: 10.Tommy OAR (knee), 21.Corey GAMEIRO (calf), 44.Ross McCORMACK (knee), 1.Ben KENNEDY (leg injury) & 6.Tom HIARIEJ (calf injury)
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Ronald VARGAS,13.Ivan VUJICA, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY **two to be omitted**
Ins: 9.Roy O’DONONVAN (return form suspension), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (promoted), 32.Angus THURGATE (promoted)
Outs: 18.John KOUTROUMBIS (not selected)
Unavailable: 24.Joe CHAMPNESS (foot – TBC)
How to watch
Do not miss any of the action on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5:00pm AEDT or watch through the MyFootball Live App.
Be there for the latest edition of the F3 Derby. Get your ticket here.