Matchday preview: Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday, 11 April 2015
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 7.30pm (Local), (7.30pm AEST)
Central Coast Mariners 1.Matthew NASH (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 15.Matthew SIM, 16.Liam ROSE, 19.Matthew SIMON, 20.Anthony KALIK, 22.Tom SLATER, 23.Isaka CERNAK, 24.Hayden MORTON, 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.Fabio FERREIRA
***two to be omitted***
Ins 2.Storm ROUX (return from international duty), 19.Matthew SIMON (return from injury), 20.Anthony KALIK (promoted), 22.Tom SLATER (promoted)
Outs 6.Brent GRIFFITHS (not selected), 14.Travis MAJOR (not selected)
Unavailable 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (hamstring – 1 week), 17.Richard VERNES (shoulder – indefinite), 21.Michael NEILL (foot – indefinite)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 3.Yusuke TANAKA, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Antony GOLEC, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Yojiro TAKAHAGI, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14.Kerem BULUT, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 25.Sam GALLAWAY, 33.Nick KALMAR, 42.Adrian MADASCHI
***two to be omitted***
Ins 6.Antony GOLEC (returns from injury), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (returns from injury), 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA (promoted), 33.Nick KALMAR (promoted)
Outs 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA (hamstring), 37.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS (not selected)
Unavailable 2.Shannon COLE (collarbone), 5.Brendan HAMILL (thigh), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder), 22.Nick WARD (knee – indefinite), 34.Golgol MEBRAHTU (knee – indefinite)
TV – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEST) and Sky Sport (New Zealand)
Radio - Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Referee Adam Fielding
Assistant Referee 1 Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2 Leigh Pigram
Fourth Official Stephen Lucas
After a few weeks of encouraging performances under new boss Tony Walmsley, the Mariners took a few steps back last week in their capitulation against Brisbane.
Western Sydney moved a point clear of the basement with their 1-1 draw against Melbourne City last weekend and followed that up with another draw in the ACL against FC Seoul on Tuesday.
Despite a tumultuous season, the Wanderers will move to within two points of the Mariners with a win here.
The Mariners have striker Matt Simon back from injury and have included him in an extended squad for what will be his final home match for the club (he hasn’t been offered another contract at the club).
Right-back Storm Roux also returns from international duty and should come straight into the starting XI.
The Wanderers have been boosted by the availability of Socceroo defender Matthew Spiranovic after a few weeks out with a hamstring strain.
If passed fit he will take the place of teenager Jonathan Aspropotamitis, who has been rested after a hectic last few weeks of matches.
Mark Bridge is set turn out in his 200th A-League match.
OPTA DATA STATS
-Central Coast Mariners have failed to score in their last three A-League meetings with the Wanderers and both meetings between the two this season have ended 0-0.
-The Mariners come into this game off the back of their heaviest ever A-League defeat (6-1 versus Brisbane Roar).
-The Wanderers have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 10 A-League games, conceding 20 goals over this period.
-Western Sydney Wanderers FC have averaged the fewest passes completed per game of any A-League side this season (274).
ROUTE TO GOAL
Goals have been hard to come by for both sides this campaign, with Wanderers scoring 26 from their 24 matches, with only 22 for the Mariners.
So where will the goals come from in this one?
The Wanderers appear to have the better options with Tomi Juric, in-form Kerem Bulut, Bridge and Romeo Castelen all in decent form.
If the Mariners defence is as leaky as it was last week against Roar then the Wanderers attack could be in for a bumper day.
After settling into life in Gosford quickly mid-season, Fabio Ferreira has gone quiet in recent weeks and Walmsley will be demanding more from his star winger.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
John Hutchinson. The A-League’s most-capped player is coming towards the end of his career and this will be the Mariners skipper’s last game on his home ground at Central Coast Stadium.
Let’s hope Mariners fans get out in big numbers to farewell the last of the club’s foundation players. Will it be a fairytale farewell for ‘Hutch’?
FORM LINES (last five games)
The Mariners are without a win in their last four matches, including an embarrassing 6-1 loss to Brisbane Roar last time out. The result – as well as the insipid performance – will have dented the pride and Walmsley will demand a response.
The Wanderers have lost just one of their last three in the league, including that draw with finals-bound City. Both previous clashes between the two sides this season ended in dour 0-0 draws.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Mariners have allowed their opponents an A-League-high 141 shots on target this season.
Central Coast Mariners 1-1 Western Sydney Wanderers FC
There’s been nothing separating these two sides when they’ve met this season and this should be another tight battle. With no finals pressure for either team it should hopefully make it a bit more open but it’s hard to split either side given their patchy form all season.