Mariners Look To Build Momentum In Adelaide

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The Central Coast Mariners this weekend travel to the City of Churches to take on Josep Gombau’s Adelaide United.

It is the second meeting between the two teams this season, with the Mariners recording a 1-0 win over the South Australian side at Bluetongue Stadium in round 3. In the three games under Phil Moss, the Central Coast have recorded two wins and a draw, and are yet to string consecutive wins together. Round 10 provides the perfect opportunity to do so.

Central Coast were impressive last week in defeating Sydney FC and therefore ending the Sky Blues four game winning streak. A single goal would be the difference with last season’s golden boot winner, Daniel McBreen, finding the back of the net.

Round 9 saw Adelaide go down 2-1 at home to competition leaders Brisbane Roar, after they led the match early 1-0. Besart Berisha would be the difference with his two goals either side of half time being enough to cancel out Osama Malik’s opener.

Adelaide currently sit in eighth spot, with a solitary win this season, while the Central Coast with their three wins and only one loss sit in sixth (with a game in hand).

Ins & Outs:
Phil Moss again tinkered with his starting XI against Sydney, giving Dutch defender Marcel Seip his second start of the season. It continued a worrying problem for the Central Coast who are yet to find an ideal partner to accompany Trent Sainsbury in the middle of defence. Seip put in a solid stint and should be rewarded with re-selection against Adelaide.

After recovering from an injury picked up against Perth three weeks ago, Nick Montgomery returned to the starting side against Sydney, replacing young midfielder Anthony Caceras. Montgomery will retain his spot alongside John Hutchinson, with Caceras being added to the bench.

Josep Gombau has brought in three players to his 18 man squad. Young keeper John Hall returns to the youth league side as his replacement Paul Izzo returns from injury. Ryan Kitto has been promoted from the youth team, while former Mariner Nigel Boogard returns to squad and is likely to face his former club.

Who’s Said What:

Phil Moss:
“Adelaide possess a number of exceptional A-League players and we know they are always a difficult opponent,”

“But last week’s win over Sydney FC was great for our confidence and we are very focused on backing up last round’s improved performance with another good showing this weekend.”

“We’re entering a busy period of the season with matches coming thick and fast.”

“The festive season is always an important time for A-League clubs however if we can pick up some solid results over the coming matches we should be well positioned at the midway point of the regular season.”

Eugene Galekovic:
“We played them (the Mariners) in the preseason and also in the first few rounds so we know what to expect,”

“Maybe they’ll be a bit different under the new coach but I don’t think too much has changed.”

“Out of five games I think we’ve been leading and we’ve dropped points so that’s a disappointing thing,”

“I don’t know what that comes down to but it’s one thing we’ve got to get better at – trying to hold onto leads.”

The Key Issue:

Adelaide: The Reds must focus on playing a full 90 minute game, especially if they go ahead. Too many times this season, Adelaide have let leads slip with them either hanging on for a draw or dropping all three points. They are a side desperate for a win, and there is no place better to get one than in front of the faithful supporters at home.

Central Coast: Phil Moss admitted his side needed to kick start their season, and with a win over Adelaide, two victories in a row could certainly do that. They play a midweek game on Thursday against the Phoenix, and providing they get three points there, the Mariners could be sitting in second spot heading in to the crucial Christmas/New Year’s period. They were strong against Sydney last week, so momentum must be maintained at Coopers Stadium.

The X-Factor:
Daniel McBreen caused plenty of headaches for the Sydney defence last week, and provided the Central Coast with a more potent attacking option up front than Matt Simon. He gives each game everything he has for the entire time on the field, and deserved his goal last week. Moss has sought out McBreen to provide leadership after the retirement of Patrick Zwaanswijk, and when McBreen is playing well, so too are the Mariners.

Prediction:
The Mariners head to Adelaide with a great record against the Reds with the last 10 games between the sides seeing the Mariners win 9 and draw 1. They also have a strong record at Hindmarsh/Coopers Stadium having beaten the Reds in 3 of the last 5 played there. You’ve got to go back to September 2009 to find Adelaide’s last victory over the reigning champions. Central Coast will be wary of their opponents at home, but will be equally buoyed by the recent performances under Moss, and should provide too tough a task for the Reds to overcome.

Central Coast 2-0

Adelaide United vs. Central Coast Mariners – Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Round 10
Saturday 14 December, 2013
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-off: 5:00pm Local (5:30pm AEST)
#ADLvCCM

HEAD TO HEAD:
Played 26. Wins: Central Coast 14, Adelaide 6. Draws: 6

LAST TIME THEY MET:
Round 3: 26/10/13 – Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford. Central Coast 1 – 0 Adelaide

RECENT FORM (LAST 5):
Adelaide: LDLDL
Central Coast: DLWDW

SQUADS:
Adelaide United:
1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK) (c), 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Jon McKAIN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.JERONIMO, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 12.Antony GOLEC, 13.Steven LUSTICA, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Michael ZULLO, 19.Jake BARKER-DAISH, 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 25.Ryan KITTO
(two to be omitted)
Ins: 3.Nigel BOOGAARD (promoted), 20.Paul IZZO (GK) (returns from injury), 25.Ryan KITTO (promoted from Youth Team)
Outs: 30.John HALL (GK) (returns to Youth Team)
Unavailable: 6.CASSIO (hamstring tendon – 5-6 weeks)

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Marcel SEIP, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE, 10. Marcos FLORES, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matt SIMON, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI *Two to be omitted*
Ins: 5. Zachary ANDERSON (promoted), 11. Nick FITZGERALD (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 22. Tom SLATER (back – 2 weeks)

Matthew Berry

Matthew Berry is Football Central's Central Coast Mariners correspondent.

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