Stability key to Mariners

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold will have the luxury of naming an unchanged line-up when they gun for their fourth Hyundai A-League victory on the trot away to Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold will have the luxury of naming an unchanged line-up when they gun for their fourth Hyundai A-League victory on the trot away to Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

The Mariners have been the form team of the competition during the past three weeks with Arnold pinpointing stability as a crucial factor in the team's climb to equal top spot on the ladder, level with Adelaide on 13 points through six games.

Arnold will start the same XI that beat the Wellington Phoenix 1-0 in New Zealand when they take on a fast-improving Victory, providing international players Michael McGlinchey, Tomas Rogic and Mathew Ryan return from midweek matches fully fit.

McGlinchey was a member of the New Zealand team which played in China on Wednesday night, while Rogic and Ryan were part of the Qantas Socceroos squad for a friendly against South Korea, also on Wednesday night.

Rogic came on as a second-half replacement to earn his first senior cap.

The trio will go directly to Melbourne to link up with the rest of the Mariners squad.

"In my two-and-a-bit seasons at the club I've shown I like stability," Arnold said.

"I've got 22 fit players but at the moment we're a winning team.

"It'll be the same team on Saturday night provided the three boys come back OK from the mid-week matches and the travel."

While his team has performed brilliantly in recent weeks Arnold knows the Mariners will have to be right on top of their game to make it four wins in succession.

"They (Victory) are starting to play very well so it's going to be a good challenge," Arnold said.

"But at the moment we're playing well, our defensive structure is good."

Arnold has been full of praise for veteran defender Patrick Zwaanswijk, who - at 37 - is still one of the best defenders in the competition.

His experience has been a major factor in the outstanding form of youngster Trent Sainsbury.

"Patrick helped raise the level of Wilko (former captain Alex Wilkinson) and now he's doing the same for Trent," Arnold said.