Official Preview: Central Coast Mariners v Gold Coast United
Back at the Bluetongue! After weeks on the road, Mariners finally return home
Central Coast Mariners v Gold Coast United Sunday 21st November 5:00pm Bluetongue Stadium
Back at the Bluetongue! After weeks on the road, Mariners finally return home. Secure your ticket today and welcome them back with a bang.
It was way back at the very start of October that Graham Arnold-s side last took to the field at the Bluetongue Stadium, so their Yellow Army are set to turn out in big numbers for their return.
And what a game they have in store for them, as Gold Coast United are the visitors in a vital six-pointer at the top end of the Hyundai A-League ladder. This one cannot be missed!
Mariners- time on the road has been fruitful to the extent that their assault on the top of the table hasn-t been harmed whatsoever from their time away from their regular home venue. Far from it, in fact.
Graham Arnold-s young guns seem to be growing in confidence with each passing game. Before Thursday-s tricky trip to Melbourne, they went to Wellington and walked away with a stunning 3-0 victory in what was arguably their most impressive performance of the season to date.
Add that to the recent 5-0 demolition of poor old Perth Glory and you have a team that is capable of leaving any other side in the Hyundai A-League red-faced.
As well as banging in goals for fun, Mariners are proving to be defensively sound as well. While a lot of fuss has been made about the defensive capabilities of their opponents this weekend, the fact is that before their game in Victoria on Thursday, Mariners had conceded the same amount of goals as Gold Coast United.
Impressively though, they had managed to score three more. It-s an daunting combination - being able to keep clean sheets yet be free-scoring at the other end.
Such a combination is something that Gold Coast United have really struggled to find this season as they continue to try to fully fill the Shane Smeltz-shaped hole in their attack. However, last weekend, they made serious progress in setting that problem straight with a devastating and well-rounded performance against Sydney.
The 3-1 win featured a brace from Joel Porter - his first goals of the season - and one from captain fantastic Jason Culina, and made anybody who had previously doubted their title credentials really sit up and pay attention. If they can use that as a springboard towards more goals, then, make no mistake, this team can win trophies.
As well as being unbeaten in ten games, United are away day specialists and are, remarkably, still unbeaten on the road as the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season heads towards its midpoint.
And their last away win was perhaps the most impressive of all, as a distinctly undermanned side playing without Bruce Djite, Tahj Minniecon, James Brown and John Curtis stood firm and won 1-0 against Melbourne Victory at Etihad. Away from home, Miron Bleiberg-s men are averaging two points per game - not a bad haul.
United fans making the journey to the Bluetongue will be sure to give Zenon Caravella and Steve Pantelidis a fine reception, as both players are set to make their 100th Australian national league appearance this weekend.
There are so many factors that make this match surely the most anticipated of Week 15. Which defence will hold strongest? Will United approach the game with goals in mind? Can Mariners turn in another epic goalscoring turn?
Who will seize the initiative and deal their opponents a massive blow as they jostle for position at the top end of the ladder? Find out by watching the action unfold from the stands and experience the unique excitement of the Hyundai A-League in person.
It-s been a while since the Yellow Army have had the opportunity to see their heroes in action at the Bluetongue, so make up for lost time by heading there on Sunday and making a month-s worth of noise.