It’s second against eighth in the Hyundai A-League on Saturday afternoon as the in-form Adelaide United head to Gosford – and not Brookvale Oval – to take on the battling Mariners.
With the Reds in strong goal-scoring form, the Mariners have a huge challenge in front of them to try and bounce back to winning ways and keep their slim finals hopes alive.
Saturday, 7 February 2015
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 5pm (Local) (5pm AEDST)
Central Coast Mariners 1.Matthew NASH (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 9.Mitchell DUKE, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 14.Travis MAJOR, 15.Matt SIM, 18.Glen TRIFIRO, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Anthony KALIK, 23.Isaka CERNAK, 25.Eddy BOSNAR
***two to be omitted***
Ins 1.Matthew NASH (gk) (promoted), 15.Matt SIM (promoted), 20.Anthony KALIK (promoted), 23.Isaka CERNAK (promoted)
Outs 17.Richard VERNES (shoulder – indefinite), 30.Adam PEARCE (gk) (Not selected)
Unavailable 21.Michael NEILL (foot – indefinite)
Adelaide United 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 19.Miguel PALANCA, 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPLOUS
***one to be omitted***
Ins 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (returns from international duty), 19.Miguel PALANCA (new signing), 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPLOUS (promoted)
Outs 14.Cameron WATSON (calf – 1 week), 30.John HALL (gk) (omitted)
Unavailable 4.Dylan McGOWAN (hamstring – 1 week), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – indefinite)
TV – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio - 92.5 ABC Central Coast, 891 ABC Adelaide & ABC Local Radio SA, Grandstand Digital Adelaide, Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app. Coast FM (Central Coast)
Referee Alan Milliner
Assistant Referee 1 Lance Greenshields
Assistant Referee 2 Andre Giev
Fourth Official Adam Gehrig
Central Coast failed to build on their mini unbeaten run before the break with a fairly meek surrender against Sydney FC last time out. Now they face the unenviable task of trying to turn things around against one of the hottest teams in the Hyundai A-League in Adelaide United. This fixture was originally set down for Brookvale Oval but the poor standard of pitch has seen it moved back to Gosford. While they haven’t always enjoyed familiar surrounds this season, the Mariners will be hoping it might work in their favour. It won’t be easy against the Reds, whose confidence will be sky-high after smashing seven past the hapless Jets in their last match.
Mariners boss Phil Moss could be swayed into making some changes given their poor showing in their last match. Youngster Anthony Kalik – considered a star of the future - has been included in the squad and is pushing hard for at least a spot on the bench. Import Richard Vernes misses out with a shoulder problem, while Fabio Ferreira won’t play against his former club due to an agreement between the clubs when he signed on for the Mariners. The Reds get skipper Eugene Galekovic back from Socceroos duty while new Spanish recruit Miguel Palanca is included and likely to come off the bench.
OPTA DATA STATS
-The Mariners have lost three of their last four against Adelaide, this after winning nine in a row against them.
-Pablo Sanchez scored twice as Adelaide won this exact fixture in November, their first win at Central Coast Stadium in 10 attempts.
-The Mariners have lost five home games this season – a Hyundai A-League-high figure.
-No side has scored more goals (14) or won more games (5) away from home than Adelaide.
ROUTE TO GOAL
The Mariners have been toothless at times in the front third, struggling to get enough support to lone striker Matt Simon. The likes of Mitch Duke, Glen Trifiro and Nick Fitzgerald have done well in patches but have been unable to produce on a consistent basis. In contrast, Adelaide has threats all over the park. If it’s not the class and creativity of Marcelo Carrusca that’s causing damage, it’s the pace and power of Awer Mabil, Craig Goodwin or Sergio Cirio. Striker Bruce Djite is having s stellar season and will relish getting at the Mariners back four.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Bruce Djite. The powerful striker has been in strong form this season and was rewarded this week with a new two-year deal. While the likes of Carrusca, Cirio and Mabil generate a lot of the headlines going forward, Djite is a vital part of the Reds success and allows the others to do their thing due to his presence and work-rate. After grabbing a brace against Newcastle last time out, he will fancy his chances of getting a couple more against the struggling Mariners.
The Mariners failed to deliver in front of their home fans on their last outing, blown away by Sydney FC 5-1. A similar performance could see them cop an even bigger hiding against the rampant Reds, who are in good goal-scoring form themselves, having out seven past Newcastle Jets a fortnight ago. After a mini slump late last year, second-placed Adelaide have won three of their last four and closing the gap on league-leaders Perth.
DID YOU KNOW?
Mitchell Duke has scored all the goals in both of the Mariners’ wins this season (1-0 vs Newcastle Jets, 2-0 vs Melbourne City). They’re currently his only three goals of the campaign.
Central Coast Mariners 1-2 Adelaide United
Having returned from the Asian Cup break in contrasting manners, Adelaide should have an extra spring in their step compared to the home side. The Reds have won their last four matches against the Mariners and look to have their measure all over the park. Central Coast will dig-in following their heavy loss against Sydney FC but it’s unlikely to be enough to get a result against an Adelaide team with genuine designs on going all the way.