Preview: Central Coast Mariners vs Perth Glory

Can the Glory snap their Gosford hoodoo? This might be their best chance after a strong start to the season has Kenny Lowe’s men in fourth. But never write off the Mariners. Ever.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Kick-Off: 5:00 pm (Local) (5:00pm AEDST)

Central Coast Mariners 1.Matt NASH (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.JohnHUTCHINSON (C), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 9.Mitchell DUKE, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 14.Malick MANÉ, 15.Matt SIM, 18.Glen TRIFIRO, 21.Michael NEILL, 23.Isaka CERNAK, 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.KIM Seung-yong ***two to be omitted***

Ins 12.Liam REDDY (gk) (returns from injury), 21.Michael NEILL (promoted), 23.Isaka CERNAK (promoted)

Outs 30.Adam PEARCE (gk) (omitted) Unavailable 6.Brent GRIFFITHS (injury – 4 weeks)

Perth Glory 1.Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Jack DUNCAN (GK), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 22.Cameron EDWARDS 23.Michael THWAITE (C) ***two to be omitted***

Ins 3.Brandon O’NEILL (promoted), 18.Jack DUNCAN (GK) (promoted), 22.Cameron EDWARDS (promoted)

Outs 30.Jordan THURTELL (omitted) Unavailable 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (1 week back ), 16.Sidnei (2 weeks- calf)

Hashtag #CCMvPER

Broadcast coverage

TV - Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 4HD & FOX SPORTS 4 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand) Radio - 92.5 ABC Central Coast, 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital Perth, Grandstand Online/A-League Live Mobile phone app  Referee Peter Green Assistant Referee 1 David Walsh Assistant Referee 2 Owen Goldrick Fourth Officia Matthew Cropper

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Central Coast will be hoping history is on their side on Sunday with the visit of the in-form Perth Glory. While the visitors have made a much stronger start to the campaign and appear to have more firepower than Phil Moss’ side, they have never tasted victory in Gosford from 14 attempts (although they did win on a penalty shoot-out in 2012 to progress to the Grand Final).

After back-to-back defeats it’s a crucial match for the Mariners and the start of a busy fortnight which will see them play five matches in both the league and Westfield FFA Cup.

The home side welcome back goal-keeper Liam Reddy who missed the loss to Sydney FC last weekend with a side strain.  Michael Neill and Isaka Cernak have also been promoted to the squad.

The big question for Glory boss Kenny Lowe will be whether he wants to change a winning side which is choc-full of confidence. Jamie Maclaren came off the bench last weekend and scored twice to win the match and must be pushing hard for a start alongside Andy Keogh.

But there could also be an argument to keep the 21-year-old on the bench and unleash him at a tiring Mariners defence late on. Youngsters Brandon O’Neill, Jack Duncan and Cameron Edwards have all been promoted to the squad.

OPTA DATA STATS

Central Coast Mariners have never lost at home to Perth Glory in the A-League, winning 12 of their 14 meetings (including finals).

In those 14 matches, Perth Glory have scored six times and never more than once in a game.

The Mariners’ home defeat to Wellington Phoenix last time out ended a run of five consecutive wins on home soil (including finals).

ROUTE TO GOAL

The Glory may have a horror record on the Central Coast but they could turn that all around if they can exploit a concerning weakness in the home side’s defence.

Of the four goals the Mariners have conceded this season, three of those have come from set pieces including both in the 2-0 loss to Sydney FC last weekend. With tall timber like Andy Keogh, Dino Djulbic, Michael Thwaite and Rostyn Griffiths in their line-up, the Glory could find joy here.

Keogh is also going to be a threat for the Mariners, the Irishman scoring six times in his last five competitive games for Perth.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Jamie Maclaren. The young attacker has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, coming off the bench last weekend to score both goals in the win over Newcastle.

With fellow striker and import Andy Keogh also in good nick, Maclaren is becoming something of a ‘super-sub’ for the Glory and it’s a role he’s performing with aplomb, rewarded with a call up to Aurelio Vidmar’s Olyroos squad this week.

Incredibly he has had just three shots over the opening four rounds, each of them resulting in a goal.

After an opening round win, the Mariners have fallen on lean times in recent weeks losing to both Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC. It’s not just the results that will be of a concern to Moss but the manner of the goals conceded, coming from avoidable defensive lapses.

The Glory have been among the standout sides of the opening month, last weekend’s come-from-behind win over the Jets their third win from four matches to be sitting pretty in fourth spot, just one point off the top of the ladder.

DID YOU KNOW?

Six of Perth Glory’s seven goals this season have been scored after half-time.

PREDICTION

Central Coast Mariners 1-1 Perth Glory

The Mariners have made Central Coast Stadium a fortress in recent seasons – the loss to the Phoenix three weeks ago snapping a run of five straight wins at home – and will need to maintain that record if they want to figure in the finals.

Glory have never scored more than once in a match at the venue but with the likes of Keogh, Maclaren, Youssouf Hersi, Mitch Nichols and Nebojsa Marinkovic, they have plenty of weapons.

Given all that it would come as no surprise if these two sides cancel each other out and share the points.