Official Preview: Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
Payback time! Roar cruised to victory over the Mariners a few weeks ago
Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar Sunday 28th November 4:00pm
Payback time! Roar cruised to victory over the Mariners a few weeks ago. Now it-s time to return the favour at Bluetongue!
Mariners go into this Sunday afternoon battle with the ladder leaders with a score to settle. When the two sides went head to head at Suncorp Stadium in Week 10, Roar simply brushed Graham Arnold-s team aside.
The 2-0 win was comfortable in the extreme for Ange Postecoglou-s team, even though, at the time, the two clubs were separated by only one position on the Hyundai A-League ladder, with Roar in second place and Mariners third, Brisbane were head and shoulders above their opponents on that day in terms of class.
In fact, they were unlucky not to have added to the fantastic goals scored by Thomas Broich and Ivan Franjic and come away with the kind of big win that they are achieving at regular intervals this season.
However, Central Coast will tell you, with some justification, that the loss came because of a one-off poor performance, rather than because of a gulf in quality between the two sides.
The Yellow Army haven-t seen their side lose very many times in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season and have witnessed a defence that is usually incredibly hard to penetrate.
After conceding three goals against Gold Coast last week, you can be sure that Graham Arnold won-t accept that kind of defensive performance from his side again anytime soon, and Roar will certainly have to be at their very best to cut through them as easily as they did last time.
Bearing in mind that Brisbane-s last away trip wasn-t as fruitful as they would have hoped, this one looks especially tricky for the Queensland outfit. Against Newcastle, it took the combination of a stunning display from goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos and a late goal from Costa Rican Jean Carlos Solórzano to steal a draw at EnergyAustralia Stadium in a game dominated for long periods by the Jets.
Similarly, fortunate as they were not to have lost that one, it took a late Ivan Franjic goal to snatch a home draw against lowly local rivals North Queensland Fury last weekend. Mariners last home game was equally disappointing, as the NSW side allowed a lead to slip and ultimately turn to defeat against Gold Coast United.
Historically speaking, things don-t look too good for Mariners. Home advantage, it seems, counts for nothing when the Roar come to town. Of the eight meetings on the Central Coast, the home side has never once managed to beat their visitors from Brisbane.
Aside from three draws, Roar have won every time they have made the journey. When they last visited, just under a year ago, Matt McKay struck a dramatic 90th minute winner in a five goal thriller. Considering that they are suddenly dropping points like hot potatoes, if you offered them the same outcome this time round, they-d surely bite your hand off.
Yellow Army, what better time to finally beat Brisbane Roar on your own turf? With the Queensland outfit flying high, it would send out the perfect message to the rest of the Hyundai A-League that the Mariners really mean business and can be amongst the challengers at the end of the season.
Get along to the Bluetongue and help to make it a historic afternoon for your team. There is nowhere better to be on Sunday afternoon!