A-League preview: Central Coast Mariners v Perth Glory

Central Coast host faltering title-chasers Perth Glory on a day when the Mariners' John Hutchinson is set to reach a milestone appearance record in the Hyundai A-League.

MATCH DETAILS

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Kick-Off: 3pm (Local), (3pm AEDST)

SQUADS

Central Coast Mariners 1.Matthew NASH (gk), 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 6.Brent GRIFFITHS, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 14.Travis MAJOR, 15. Mathew SIM, 16.Liam ROSE, 18.Glen TRIFIRO, 20.Anthony KALIK, 23.Isaka CERNAK, 24.Hayden MORTON, 26.Fabio FERREIRA ***two to be omitted*** Ins 6.Brent GRIFFITHS (promoted), 16.Liam ROSE (promoted), 20.Anthony KALIK (promoted), 24. Hayden MORTON (promoted) Outs 2.Storm ROUX (suspended), 25.Eddy BOSNAR (suspended) Unavailable 17.Richard VERNES (shoulder – indefinite), 21.Michael NEILL (foot – indefinite) 19.Matt SIMON (groin - indefinite)

Perth Glory 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA,14.Chris Harold, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 27.Dragan PALJIC, 28. Denis KRAMAR ***two to be omitted*** Ins 16.Sidnei SCIOLA (promoted), 17.Mitch NICHOLS (promoted) Outs Nil Unavailable 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season)

Hashtag: #CCMvPER

TV broadcast – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 3.00pm (AEDT)

Radio broadcast - Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.  Coast FM 96.3 (Central Coast)

Referee Ben Williams

Assistant Referee 1 Allyson Flynn

Assistant Referee 2 Owen Goldrick

Fourth Official Stephen Lucas

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

With their finals hopes now evaporated following the loss to Adelaide United last week, the Mariners are playing for nothing but pride over the last six rounds.

It might just release the shackles and allow the side to go out and play more positively, without the pressure of needing to get a result.

It could make them a hard nut to crack, especially for a side like Perth that is desperate for a win.

Glory have dropped from first to fourth following defeat to Wellington last weekend meaning they are in danger of not even getting a home final unless they can get out of their current rut.

This is the first of three straight games against the bottom three clubs for Kenny Lowe’s side so they have no excuses not to turn things around.

The Mariners will need to make at least two changes to their defence with both Storm Roux and Eddy Bosnar suspended, although Brent Griffiths has been named in the squad following a long injury lay-off.

Mitch Nichols is available again for Perth following his one-game ban and he should come straight back into the starting side, maybe at the expense of last weekend’s goal-scorer Ruben Zadkovich.

Mariners skipper John Hutchinson is set to make a record 223rd appearance in the Hyundai A-League (one ahead of opposition goalkeeper Danny Vukovic who is set to be rested from the clash).

OPTA DATA STATS

- Perth have won just once in the Hyundai A-League in Gosford, back in November this season. They have lost 12 and drawing two of their 14 visits prior to that.

-The Mariners have alternated between victory and defeat in their last five Hyundai A-League home games, winning their most recent match.

-No side has lost more Hyundai A-League home games this season than the Mariners (6).

-Perth Glory has conceded just nine goals on the road this season, fewer than any other side.

ROUTE TO GOAL

The goals have dried up for Glory in recent weeks, a big factor behind their poor run of results. But they should benefit from playing away from home.

They have built their success on a solid base, soaking up pressure and hitting teams on transition and they should get plenty of chance to do that against the Mariners who look to press high under interim-coach Tony Walmsley.  

The return from suspension of Nichols will also add a bit more creativity and threat from their midfield.

Central Coast are really struggling without a pure ‘No.9’, Matt Simon’s season-ending injury meaning Nick Fitzgerald has had to play through the middle and the youngster has yet to really find his feet there.

The battle between Fabio Ferreira and Scott Jamieson down the Mariners right flank will be a crucial one. 

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Perth's Andy Keogh and Josh Risdon. Police charges have been dropped against them after an alleged minor indiscretion in Adelaide recently. 

FORM LINES

The Mariners surrendered an early lead to lose 2-1 against Adelaide United last Thursday. While it wasn’t the result they were after they performed quite well and the Reds’ winning goal came from a very lucky deflection off Craig Goodwin’s shot.

Perth has lost top spot on the ladder for the first time in five months after going down 2-1 at home to Wellington Phoenix.

They are still yet to win since the return from the Asian Cup break. 

DID YOU KNOW?

-Following a 10-game unbeaten run, Perth Glory is winless in their last eight (D5 L3) Hyundai A-League games.

PREDICTION

Central Coast Mariners 1-2 Perth Glory

Glory finally relinquished top spot on the ladder after going an eighth match in a row without a win last weekend.

If ever they were going to turn things around surely this is it. While the Mariners have shown some improvement since a change of coach and should be hard to beat at home, Perth simply has too much to play for and should edge this one for that reason.