Preview: Central Coast Mariners v Tianjin Teda
Bluetongue Stadium, Central Coast, Tuesday May 19, 8:00pm AEST It's hard to know how this match will play out, but given these two teams shared a 2-2 draw last time they played, you'd expect goals and a good night's entertainment.
Date: Tuesday May 19 Kick-off: 8:00pm AEST Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Central Coast TV coverage: Fox Sports 3 (Live)
Results so far:
Central Coast: Central Coast 0, Pohang Steelers 0, Bluetongue Stadium, March 11 Tianjin Teda 2, Central Coast 2, Tianjin Teda Stadium, March 18 Central Coast 0, Kawasaki Frontale 5, Bluetongue Stadium, April 8 Kawasaki Frontale 2, Central Coast Mariners 1, Todoroki Stadium, April 21 Pohang Steelers 3 Central Coast 2, Pohang Steelyard, May 5
Tianjin Teda Kawasaki Frontale 1, Tianjin Teda 0, Todoroki Stadium, March 11 Tianjin Teda 2, Central Coast 2, Tianjin Teda Stadium, March 18 Pohang Steelers 1, Tianjin Teda 0, Pohang Steelyard, April 8 Tianjin Teda 0, Pohang Steelers 0, Pohang Steelyard, April 21 Tianjin Teda 3, Kawasaki Frontale 1, Tianjin Teda Stadium
Analysis: This match is effectively a dead rubber with nothing but pride to play for between these two teams after Pohang's win over Central Coast ended both their chances of making it through to the second round.
With that in mind, Lawrie McKinna looks set to play an inexperienced team in a bid to find out which of his young players are up to this level. With all clubs finalising their lists for the upcoming A-League season, McKinna needs to work out who he believes can step up.
Matthew Osman and Nigel Boogaard return to the side but the club's three main strikers, Dylan Macallister (shoulder), Matt Simon (knee) and Nik Mrdja (hamstring) are all ruled out through injury. Adam Kwasnik and Adrian Caceres will step up as stand-in front men.
The Mariners are yet to record their first win in this competition, and haven't won a competitive game since New Year's Eve. That's ten matches in 2009 without a win. While this campaign cause may be a lost one, a positive finish will do their hopes of a strong performance in the 2009/10 season no harm.
Tianjin notched an impressive win over Kawasaki in their most recent match and while that wasn't enough to rescue its hopes of progressing past the group stage, it would have given the Chinese team plenty of confidence.
Leilei Ma scored two goals in that match, one a 30-metre rocket, while Italian import Damiano Tommasi added the third.
Tianjin currently sits third on the CSL table, missing a chance to go top when it drew 1-1 with an out-of-form Shanghai Shenhua on Friday. It will also take a very inexperienced team into the match, but on-loan Sydney striker Mark Bridge is likely to play.
It's hard to know how this match will play out, but given these two teams shared a 2-2 draw last time they played, you'd expect goals and a good night's entertainment.