Preview: Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets

The F3 Derby opens the season for two sides most pundits have written off as serious title contenders  – which makes this clash on Brisbane Waters even more feisty as both sides look to start their season with a morale-boosting win.

Saturday, 11 October 2014
Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:00pm AEDT
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Assistant Referee 1: Lance Greenshields

Assistant Referee 2: Andrej Giev

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 1HD & 1 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 92.5 ABC Central Coast, 1233 ABC Newcastle Grandstand Digital Online/Mobile phone app. Coast FM 96.3

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #F3DERBY

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets   

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Matthew NASH (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Joshua ROSE, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 9.Mitchell DUKE, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (GK), 14.Malick MANÉ 15.Matthew SIM, 17.Richard VERNES, 18.Glen TRIFIRO, 21.Michael NEILL, 23.Isaka CERNAK, 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.Kim SEUNG-YONG

***two to be omitted***

Ins: Not Applicable

Outs: Not Applicable

Unavailable: 5.Brent GRIFFITHS (injury – indefinite), 16.Liam ROSE (international duty)

Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), 2.Scott NEVILLE, 3.Taylor REGAN, 4.Kew JALIENS (c), 7.Jeronimo NEUMANN, 8.Zenon CARAVELLA, 9.Joel GRIFFITHS, 10.Marcos FLORES, 11.Andrew HOOLE, 12.Sam GALLAGHER, 13.Edson MONTANO, 16.Jacob PEPPER, 17.James VIRGILI, 18.Allan WELSH, 20.Ben KENNEDY (GK), 21.Sam GALLAWAY, 22.Jonny STEELE, 23.David CARNEY

Ins: Not Applicable

Outs: Not Applicable

Unavailable: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee– 1-2 weeks), 6.Adrian MADASCHI (calf– 1-2 weeks), 14.Billy CELESKI (groin – 6-8 weeks), 15.Josh BARRESI (knee – season), 19.Mitch COOPER (knee – 6-8 weeks)

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

These clashes are always keenly-contested but this looms as an extra important, even if it is only round one.

With many experts predicting both these outfits to struggle for a top six berth, a first-up win would be the ideal start and maybe a launch-pad to prove the doubters wrong.

OPTA DATA STATS

Jets’ road woes. There might not be many kilometres between these two sides’ home grounds but the Jets don’t like the short trip down the freeway. The Hunter club have managed just one win in 16 games at Central Coast Stadium and have found the back of the net just three times in their last 10 visits.

ROUTE TO GOAL:

The Jets have endured something of a midfield crisis in the pre-season, with Ben Kantarovski and Billy Celeski both unavailable through injury. It is likely to be left to the likes of Jacob Pepper and Taylor Regan to fill that role for the early rounds and how they matchup with the Mariners’ experienced pair of John Hutchinson and Nick Montgomery will be intriguing.

If there’s one area the Jets do look strong it’s in attack with Joel Griffiths, Edson Montano, Jeronimo Neumann and Marcos Flores in the side.

But can they break down the Mariners’ spine and always well-structured and organised defence?

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

This time last year Marcos Flores was seen as a key figure for the Mariners. But after injuring his knee mid-season, the Argentine wasn’t offered a new deal much to his disappointment. Now at the Jets, Flores is keen to prove a point to his former employers and would love nothing more than helping his new club get one over their bitter rivals.

FORM LINES

Central Coast has been more solid than spectacular in the pre-season, only losing once and is still alive in the Westfield FFA Cup. Like last season though, goals have proved difficult to come by and coach Phil Moss will be hoping their combinations begin to fire at the right time.

The Jets had a slow start to their pre-season campaign but have got stronger as it progressed, unbeaten in their last three matches to gain a bit of confidence ahead of round one.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Mariners haven’t been involved in a draw in any of their last 15 Hyundai A-League matches, winning eight and losing the other seven.

PREDICTION

Central Coast Mariners 2-0 Newcastle Jets

It’s never easy to predict results in the early rounds of the competition and history would suggest this will be hard-fought with not much between the two sides.

While the Jets have seen a lot of change in their squad in the off-season, Central Coast’s spine is very settled which should ensure they hit the ground running.The experience of the likes of Eddy Bosnar, Liam Reddy, Josh Rose, Hutchinson and Montgomery is a big bonus and it could take a few weeks for the Jets’ new-look strikeforce to gel.

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