Wednesday at Wanderland has a nice ring. It’d be even nicer for the bottom of the table red and black to finally pick up three points in their first home game of the season. Standing in Asian Champions’ way are the Mariners, fresh from a trademark comeback in Melbourne.
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Pirtek Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7.30pm (Local) (7.30pm AEDST)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1.Ante COVIC (GK), 2.Shannon COLE, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Vitor SABA, 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE (c), 20.Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 22.Seyi ADELEKE, 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 33.Daniel ALESSI, 35. Kearyn BACCUS
***two to be omitted***
Ins 22.Seyi ADELEKE, 9.Tomi JURIC, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (all promoted)
Outs 3.Daniel MULLEN, 6.Antony GOLEC, 31.Alusine FOFANAH (not selected)
Unavailable 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (international duty), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder – indefinite), 34.Golgol MUBRAHTU (knee – indefinite)
Central Coast Mariners 1. Matt NASH (Gk), 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), 15. Matt SIM, 16. Liam ROSE, 17. Richard VERNES, 18. Glen TRIFIRO, 21. Michael NEILL, 23. Isaka CERNAK, 25. Eddy BOSNAR, 26. KIM Seung-yong
***two to be omitted***
Ins 16. Liam ROSE, 26. KIM Seung-yong
Unavailable 2. Storm ROUX (International Duty – New Zealand), 6. Brent GRIFFITHS (injury – indefinite), 19. Matt SIMON (injury – 2 weeks)
TV - Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 (FOX SPORTS 4HD & 4) from 7.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio - ABC Grandstand Online/ ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Referee Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1 Sarah Ho
Assistant Referee 2 Leigh Pigram
Fourth Official Chris Young
It’s getting desperate for Western Sydney Wanderers FC and they will have to go for broke against a Central Coast outfit equally as determined to get their season going.
Without a point for the season, their first game at ‘Wanderland’ has come at the perfect time for Tony Popovic’s troops, no doubt still a little jaded from a horror travel schedule over the last few weeks.
But with a vocal and passionate home support behind them, any lingering tiredness should be a little easier to overcome.
The Mariners head to Parramatta with a bit of belief having shown great character to fight back from two goals down to snatch a draw with Melbourne City on Sunday.
After resting a host of his big-name players for the trip to Perth on the weekend, Popovic brought back Tomi Juric, Romeo Castelen, Matthew Spiranovic, Iacopo La Rocca and Seyi Adeleke for this one.
All five are likely to come into the starting side. Defenders Daniel Mullen and Antony Golec, and youngster Alusine Fofanah have all been omitted. Skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley will miss a second straight match due to being away with the Socceroos.
Phil Moss has kept faith with the same squad that fought back to snatch a point against City on Sunday. Liam Rose and Kim Seung-Yong have been added to the squad.
With just three days between games, the Mariners boss is likely to freshen up his starting side, with the likes of Glen Trifiro, Richard Vernes, Eddy Bosnar and Isaka Cernak to push for a start.
OPTA DATA STATS
-The Mariners have netted just one first half goal in their five Hyundai A-League games so far in 2014-15.
-The Wanderers have averaged the lowest shots on target per game in the Hyundai A-League so far in 2014-15 (2.5 per game).
-Central Coast have allowed the most shots on target per game on average (6.0 per game).
ROUTE TO GOAL
With Mariners boss Phil Moss deploying the young and inexperienced Jacob Poscoliero and Michael Neill in the full-back positions, expect the home side to attack them down the flanks.
The Wanderers have loads of pace and power in wide areas, with the likes of Romeo Castelen, Mark Bridge or Nikita Rukavytsya likely to get some joy one-on-one with their full-backs.
Set pieces will again be crucial for both sides at either ends of the park, while Wanderers striker Tomi Juric is now back to full fitness and will be a key attacking weapon.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Malick Mane. The Mariners' import looks to be on his way out after a reported dressing room bust up. The club has hinted the muscled-up forward may be given an early release for 'personal' reasons and hasn't been named in Wednesday night's squad.
Nothing to get too excited for either side with just one win between them for the season so far.
Wanderers have had four defeats from four starts after their 2-1 loss in Perth on Saturday night.
In that run they have conceded a goal inside the final 15 minutes of the last three matches, meaning they will need to work on the way they finish games.
The Mariners snapped their four-game losing streak in all competitions with a 2-2 draw with Melbourne City on Sunday.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Wanderers have won their last two home games in the Hyundai A-League competition against Central Coast Mariners, both 2-0.
Wanderers 2-0 Mariners
Two desperate sides makes for what should be a tight and tense 90 minutes but we expect the Wanderers to finally get their season off life-support with a victory.
There’s no doubt the Mariners would have got a big morale boost from the late fightback against City but playing their fourth game in 11 days might be a bridge to far for Moss’ side.
The home side is set to unleash all their big guns fresh from the weekend off and if they are serious about making the top six, then this is a fixture they simply must win.