Preview: Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
Adelaide has emerged from what is arguably the biggest two weeks of its short life, trailing the Hyundai A-League lead by just one point and with a spot in the ACL semi-finals secured.
Date: Friday October 3 Kick-off: 7:30pm local (8:00pm AEST) Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 2 and Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is FRESH FM (Adelaide) and Coast FM (Gosford) 96.3FM. To purchase tickets visit www.venuetix.com.au.
Head-to-head 10 A-League meetings: Adelaide - 4 wins, Central Coast 4 wins - Draws - 2
Previous meeting Adelaide 1, Central Coast 2, Hindmarsh Stadium, Round 17, December 2007
Past Five Games Adelaide: Round 2: Queensland Roar 1, Adelaide United 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 3: Adelaide United 3, Wellington Phoenix 0, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 4: Melbourne Victory 1, Adelaide United 0, Telstra Dome Round 5: Sydney FC 3, Adelaide United 0, SFS Round 6: Adelaide United 2, Newcastle Jets 0, Hindmarsh Stadium
Central Coast: Round 2: Central Coast Mariners 2, Sydney FC 3, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium Round 3: Queensland Roar 2, Central Coast Mariners 4, Suncorp Stadium Round 4: Wellington Phoenix 0, Central Coast Mariners 0, Westpac Stadium Round 5: Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 2, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium Round 6: Central Coast Mariners 4, Perth Glory 1, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium
Analysis Adelaide has emerged from what is arguably the biggest two weeks of its short life, trailing the Hyundai A-League lead by just one point and with a spot in the ACL semi-finals secured. The effort of the Reds to bounce back from the 3-0 defeat of Sydney with a comprehensive victory over the Jets puts them in an excellent position, and coach Aurelio Vidmar must be very happy with his team's efforts through a frenetic fortnight.
However, things don't get too much easier for the Reds who after this match, then host Uzbek side Bunyodkor at Hindmarsh next Wednesday. A fortnight later they then must travel to Tashkent for the return leg of their semi-final.
In the match prior to the first quarter-final match up against Kashima, Vidmar admitted his side lost its focus and that resulted in a 1-0 loss to Melbourne. This week, the coach will be all over his players making sure they are ready to confront a Mariners side which has gone four matches unbeaten and has arguably the best form in the competition.
After five matches in a fortnight, Adelaide has few injury concerns with Lucas Pantelis, Kristian Sarkies and Fabian Barbiero all injured for just a week. Four of the Adelaide players, Paul Reid, Scott Jamieson, Eugene Galekovic and Robbie Cornthwaite, will be feeling a vote of confidence after being selected in an extended Socceroos squad while Cristiano is back in form after two goals last week.
The Mariners were merciless against an out-of-form Perth last week and showed how dangerous they can be when left to dictate the play. Adrian Caceres was in excellent form, Mile Jedinak again showed his prowess from the dead ball while Matt Simon and Sasho Petrovski are proving quite a goalscoring combination.
The Mariners have put together an unbeaten run which stems back to Round 2 and as a result are now just two points off the lead. They have a strong record at Hindmarsh and won the last time the teams played there last year.
Mark Bosnich will miss this game with a hamstring injury, but he is the only addition to an absentee list that includes Andre Gumprecht, Dean Heffernan, Greg Owens, Danny Vukovic and Ahmad Elrich.
Matthew Nash comes in as Andrew Redmayne's back-up while David D'Apuzzo is included in a 16-man squad for a match which could play a big role in where these two teams end up at the end of the season.
Adelaide United Squad. 20.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.ALEMAO, 4.Angelo COSTANZO, 6.CASSIO, 9.Paul AGOSTINO, 10.CRISTIANO, 13.Travis DODD (capt.), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 15.Jonas SALLEY, 16. Daniel MULLEN, 19.Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 21.Jason SPAGNUOLO, 22.DIEGO, 24.Paul REID, 30.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk). * 1 to be omitted
In. Daniel MULLEN (promoted). Out. Nil. Unavailable. Lucas PANTELIS (groin - 1 week), Kristian SARKIES (foot - 1 week), Fabian BARBIERO (groin - 1 week), Daniel BELTRAME (knee - season), Isyan ERDOGAN (hamstring - indefinite).
Central Coast Mariners Squad. 1. Matthew NASH (gk), 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Bradley PORTER, 6. David D'APUZZO, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 10. Adrian CACERES, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 13. Paul O'GRADY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 17. Matthew OSMAN, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON, 22. Sasho PETROVSKI, 23. Mile JEDINAK, 30. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk). *one to be omitted. In. 1. Matthew NASH (Promoted), 6. David D'APUZZO (Promoted). Out.. 40. Mark BOSNICH (Hamstring - Indefinite). Unavailable. 2. Andre GUMPRECHT (Knee - Indefinite), 8. Dean HEFFERNAN (Leg - Indefinite), 12. Greg OWENS (Hamstring - Indefinite), 20. Danny VUKOVIC (Suspended - 1 round), 21. Ahmad ELRICH (Knee - Season).