Match Preview: Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC

It’s derby time! Head on down to the Bluetongue and help Mariners get back to winning ways

Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC Saturday 4th December 7.00pm Bluetongue Stadium

It-s derby time! Head on down to the Bluetongue and help Mariners get back to winning ways, as local rivals Sydney come to town.

Yellow Army, your team needs your support more than ever this Saturday. Graham Arnold-s young troops have put in a fantastic effort so far this season, and shown that they are more than capable of making a challenge for honours in the end of season mix-up, so, as they look to pull themselves out of a sticky patch of form, they need your encouragement from the stands. Turn the Bluetongue into a sea of yellow and sing to win.

Last week-s defeat to Brisbane was indeed disappointing, but their current run shouldn-t be seen as any more than the kind of dip in form that all teams go through at some stage.

A handful of bad results does not turn a good team into a bad one - this side has potential in abundance - and with the backing of a large crowd on Saturday, they are more than capable of getting back to winning ways against a team that continues to labour its way through a perpetually tough Hyundai A-League season. However, whatever the Hyundai A-League table might suggest, this won-t be an easy one for Mariners.

Sydney FC are turning the corner. Okay, so rather than a handbrake turn, they are doing it as quickly as a ferry might, but they are turning the corner nonetheless.

Before this Wednesday-s home tussle with Wellington Phoenix, their scoreless draw against Melbourne Heart meant that they had only suffered one defeat in six and had kept four clean sheets in the process.

At times it hasn-t been pretty, but the level of hard work and commitment recently simply cannot be questioned. With a newfound sense of resolve, the Sky Blues will make the short journey to the Bluetongue confident that they can come away with a result.

If the first clash of the season between the two rivals is anything to go by, then this Saturday-s derby will be a close affair. The 1-1 draw was a tense, exciting match-up, with Sydney grabbing a lead early in the second-half through Rhyan Grant, before a dodgy penalty and a red card to Sydney stopper Liam Reddy gave Patricio Perez the chance to level the scores from the spot.

The controversial incident led to Reddy-s red card being expunged and Perez being slapped with a two-game ban for simulation, meaning there is plenty of ill-feeling between the two rival sides that is bound to translate into another hard-fought battle on Saturday. Things have certainly gone in Sydney-s favour in the head-to-heads between the clubs over the years. In their last nine meetings, Mariners have only managed a solitary victory against the local rivals, while The Sky Blues inflicted the Yellow Army-s biggest ever Hyundai A-League home defeat with a 5-1 drubbing back in November 2005.

The last time the sides met at the Bluetongue, way back in August of last year, they played out a typically tight 0-0 draw in front of over 10,000 fans.

Local derbies always have that extra bite to them, and Sydney are sure to be well represented in the stands on Saturday, both in numbers and in the volume they create, so it-s up to the Yellow Army to try and drown them out.

Let-s aim for a huge turnout at the Bluetongue and look forward to 90 minutes of intense rivalry, both on the pitch and in the stands as yellow and sky blue to go toe-to-toe.

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