Preview: Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United

Gear yourself up for a Boxing Day Battle at the Bluetongue

Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United Sunday 26th December 5:00pm Gear yourself up for a Boxing Day Battle at the Bluetongue as two sides with silverware in their sights go for three absolutely crucial points!

Christmas is a notoriously busy time, not least for Central Coast Mariners, who are set to play their second game in four days. Still, after suffering the huge disappointment of having their game in the Gold Coast abandoned after 19 minutes of wading around the pitch, they-ll be raring to get their teeth into this equally huge clash with second-placed Adelaide United.

While Mariners- push for glory in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season may have stuttered somewhat over the last few games - before their midweek tussle with North Queensland Fury they had only won one of their previous six - a run of fixtures at the Bluetongue represents a real chance for Graham Arnold-s lads to set themselves up nicely for a final push over the edge as the season draws to a close.

This match-up against one of their rivals for second place is the second of five consecutive home games (assuming the abandoned Gold Coast fixture isn-t rescheduled in the middle of them), and is perhaps the most important of all. Victory over The Reds will keep them in their crosshairs. Defeat however, would leave Mariners with a lot to do in order to catch their rivals. So get along to the Bluetongue for this Boxing Day battle and give your side the lift they need in this massive encounter.

In keeping with the hectic time of year, Adelaide United also play their second game in four days, and will be feeling the strain of it even more than their hosts, as they have had to trek the width of the country by following a midweek trip to basement-club Perth with a journey to New South Wales for this big battle at the top end of the ladder.

They-ve had to do so without defender Daniel Mullen too. He certainly won-t be having the merriest of Christmases following news that his season is over after he suffered a knee injury in the first-half of The Reds- devastating last-gasp loss to Melbourne Heart last Friday night.

MRI scans the following day showed damage to the lateral side of his right knee, meaning that he is unlikely to play again this campaign. His disappointment will be compounded by the fact that he sustained the injury in his first start in nine games following a steady recovery from an ankle injury he sustained back in October,

It-s been a rollercoaster ride for The Reds lately. Before their trip out west in the week, their previous ten games were split equally between five magnificent victories and five really disappointing losses.

Mariners will be hoping that they face the version of United that threw it away against Heart or that were royally stuffed against Newcastle, while away fans will be looking for a repeat of the kind of performance that saw Rini Coolen-s men turn over Heart in Melbourne.

The result of this game could end up having a huge impact on how the rest of the season pans out. So, come on Yellow Army, fill the Bluetongue with Christmas cheer and get ready to sing your side to a hugely important victory. It-s a huge game for both the Mariners and the Reds - so get ready for Hyundai A-League action at its most exciting! It-s going to be epic.

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