Preview: Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
Date: Friday August 14,Kick-off: 8:00pm AEDT The F3 Derby rivalry is one of the biggest in the Hyundai A-League, fuelled by Newcastle's Grand Final win over Central Coast 18 months ago.
Date: Friday August 14 Kick-off: 8:00pm AEDT Venue: Bluetongue Stadium TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 3 and Sky Sports 1. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is Coast FM 96.3 (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Head-to-head 17 Hyundai A-League meetings: Newcastle - 6 wins, Central Coast - 5 wins, Draws - 6
Previous meeting Newcastle Jets 1, Central Coast Mariners 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium, Round 17, December 2008
Season so far: Central Coast: Round 1: Melbourne Victory 0, Central Coast Mariners 2, Etihad Stadium
Newcastle Jets: Round 1: Newcastle Jets 3, Wellington Phoenix 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium
Analysis: The F3 Derby rivalry is one of the biggest in the Hyundai A-League, fuelled by Newcastle's Grand Final win over Central Coast 18 months ago. The Jets may have had bragging rights from that match, but the Mariners have not lost to them since, winning two and drawing one of the three matches last year.
The rivalry is helped along by the fact that there have been a few players to have swapped between the clubs over the past four seasons. Sasho Petrovski is the latest. He scored the equaliser for the Mariners the last time these two teams met, but has since taken the drive to Newcastle, playing a role in the club's Asian Champions League campaign. Adam and David D'Apuzzo face off in their only family derby as well.
Both sides started the season with wins, with Central Coast stunning reigning champion Melbourne at home to win 2-0 and Newcastle prevailing 3-2 in a five-goal thriller at EnergyAustralia Stadium against Wellington.
The Mariners' win in Melbourne was full of defensive merit. They kept a very tight ship in the middle of the park and allowed Melbourne very little room in midfield. The key to this was Pedj Bojic's discipline in defensive midfield and the strength of the skipper Alex Wilkinson and new recruit Chris Doig in the heart of defence. Michael McGlinchey made a promising debut for the Mariners while Matt Simon again proved himself handy in front of goals.
But Doig is out of this match with a calf injury, with Nik Mrdja called in after missing last week through injury. Shane Huke is still another 4-5 weeks away with a knee injury, while Adrian Caceres has been left out again.
Like the Mariners, the Jets started brilliantly in their opening game, leading 2-0 inside 22 minutes thanks to a double from Jason Hoffman. The 20-year-old benefitted from poor marking, but had the composure to put away both goals. However, ordinary defence from a set piece and then a poor goalkeeping effort from Kennedy let Wellington back into the contest.
Hoffman could have had a hat-trick, but it was Jason Naidovski who settled it when he was given too much space and the Jets fans left happy. While it was the young players who got their name on the scoresheet, Branko Culina would have been delighted with the 78 minutes he got from Fabio Vignaroli as well as the performance of Ljubo Milecevic. These two directed the Jets very well around the park.
Culina has stuck with the same squad as last week, as much out of necessity as anything else, with several key players still missing through injury. Ben Kantarovski (knee) and Shaun Ontong (groin) are is two weeks away, while Jobe Wheelhouse (ankle), Donny De Groot (knee), Marko Jesic (knee) and Kaz Patafta (back) are all listed as indefinites.
The Jets have only ever won one match at Bluetongue Stadium in eight tries, but have drawn there on four other occasions. The home advantage plus the fact the Mariners accounted for the defending champions on the road last week probably has them as slight favourites, but derbies have a habit of producing upset results.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Dean HEFFERNAN, 9. Nik MRDJA, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21. Ahmad ELRICH, 22. Nicky TRAVIS, 23. Adam KWASNIK
In: Nik MRDJA (promoted)
Out: Chris DOIG (calf)
Unavailable: Shane HUKE (knee - 4/5 weeks)
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 9. Sasho PETROVSKI, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 15. Sean ROONEY, 16. Jason HOFFMAN, 17. Fabio VIGNAROLI, 19. Jason NAIDOVSKI, 20. Neil YOUNG (gk), 24. Chris TRIANTIS
Unavailable: 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee - 2 weeks), 10. Donny DE GROOT (knee - indefinite), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE (ankle - indefinite), 13. Shaun ONTONG (groin - 2 weeks), 18. Marko JESIC (knee - indefinite), 22. Kaz PATAFTA (back - indefinite)