Preview: Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners

It’s the big one! Don’t miss one of the showdowns of the season so far as the Reds and the Mariners battle

Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners Saturday 29th January 7:00pm

It-s the big one! Don-t miss one of the showdowns of the season so far as the Reds and the Mariners battle for second place.

There are seminal moments in every season - games that have a huge impact on everything that follows them. There are matches that make or break teams and that are the difference between a side having the momentum to push on for silverware and seeing their season unravel.

Saturday is one such occasion for Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners. With the visitors just a single point ahead of United and clinging on to second place, this game is absolutely massive.

The Reds will enter the arena brimming with confidence having hit a phenomenal spell of goalscoring form. After that sensation 4-1 win at Melbourne Victory, they went on to rewrite the record books last weekend with an astonishing 8-1 destruction of North Queensland Fury at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Marcos Flores and Sergio van Dijk were the heroes, incredibly both netting hat-tricks as the team became the first to strike more than six goals in a Hyundai A-League game. The romp sent the crowd of nearly 11,000 fans crazy, and the boost to the team-s goal difference meant that they - temporarily - regained second spot. While Mariners have since leapfrogged them again, these two epic wins will have firmly restored belief that Adelaide can finish in second position.

While Mariners may have dropped two points last week against Sydney, they-ll be pleased enough to have come away with anything at all. Having trailed 2-0, they showed tremendous spirit to fight back and gain a draw, and will be buoyed by the performance of midfielder Patricio Perez, who ran last season-s Champions ragged during a brilliant second-half.

United have yet to beat Mariners in this season. The first meeting saw them fight out a 1-1 draw at the Bluetongue, with defender Iain Fyfe tucking away a Lucas Pantelis set-piece just before the break to give the visitors the lead, before Mariners stole a point with a Matt Simon effort six minutes from time.

By the Bluetongue Boxing Day battle, both sides had established themselves as silverware contenders and it was the home team that won this huge six-pointer. Both of the Mariners- goals came in the second half, with Matt Simon again causing United pain while Adelaide-s Sergio van Dijk continued his rich vein of form with a goal in the 78th minute. Unfortunately though, he scored at the wrong end. The result was their third defeat in a row and ensured it was a very unhappy Christmas for the side from South Australia.

The match-up with Central Coast Mariners is set to be defender Iain Fyfe-s farewell appearance for the Reds before he joins his new club, South Korean Busan I-Park. Conversely, Osama Malik may make his debut after signing from North Queensland Fury. However, the game might fall just a bit too soon for new signing Dario Bodrusic to be ready. He is sure to feature strongly sooner rather than later though.

This penultimate home game for Adelaide United is their - and Mariners- - biggest of the season so far. For either side, it could very possibly be the difference between glory and disappointment at the end of their brilliant campaigns.

So get along to the stadium and be a part of what is sure to be a sensational night of nail-biting Hyundai A-League action at its best, Can United overturn Mariners and reclaim second spot? Or will the Central Coast see off the challenge from their top two rivals? Secure your tickets today and experience an unbelievable atmosphere live. It-s going to be huge!

Click here for tickets to see the battle for second place