Mariners seek redemption in the City of Churches

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After consecutive defeats, the Central Coast Mariners this week travel to the City of Churches to take on Adelaide United.

The Mariners were poor at home last week in a 3-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory. Despite going down early, Melbourne weren’t troubled in the end, scoring just before the break before adding two more in the second half.

Central Coast currently sit third, however, before the back to back losses they enjoyed a 4 point buffer on the Victory who sit fourth. That advantage has since evaporated with goal difference only separating the two sides.

Adelaide are coming off a comprehensive win over Sydney FC 3-0 at Allianz Stadium. Despite the impressive result for the Reds, most of the attention from the match has been directed at their opponents off field issues surrounding the game.

A win for Adelaide, who currently sit 5th, would see them join Central Coast and Victory on 27 points.

Ins & Outs:

Mariners coach Phil Moss has named a 17 man squad to face Adelaide with Nick Montgomery returning from suspension and new recruit Kim Seung-Yong being included. All eyes will be on the South Korean playmaker as he looks to fill the much needed number 10 spot for the Central Coast.

Josep Gombau has named 18 in his squad for round 19, with Ryan Griffiths missing out due to shin soreness and Tarek Elrich missing due to suspension. while Jake Barker-Daish and Jordan Elsey have both being included.

The Stats:

- Adelaide United have only lost one of their last nine league games (W5 D3).

- Adelaide United have lost nine of their last 10 A-League matches against Central Coast Mariners however, the hosts won the last meeting between these sides.

- Central Coast Mariners have recorded seven clean sheets this season, no side has managed more.

- The Mariners are the only side in the A-League this season yet to concede a goal in the opening 15 minutes of a match.

The Key Issues:

Central Coast: Can the Mariners reverse the slide? Consecutive defeats haven’t been a normal occurrence for the reigning champions in the past 3 seasons, and at this time of the year aren’t needed. While in the past two weeks there as been the usual January turn over of players in Gosford, that excuse can no longer exist. Reinforcements have been brought in, it’s time for the Mariners to set sail for the finals.

Adelaide: Last time Adelaide hosted the Mariners at home they enjoyed putting 4 past the yellow & navy in a result many didn’t see coming. That match is now seen as a turning point for the Reds who were under plenty of pressure from all angles after a less than desirable start to the season. Their is plenty to play for Josep Gombau’s men who could leapfrog both a Victory and the Mariners into third spot by the end of the weekend.

The X-Factor:

After Marcos Flores’ season ending injury and the departure of Michael McGlinchey to Japan, many questioned where the ‘attacking flair’ would come from for the Mariners. Enter Kim Sueng-Yong. The South Korean joins the A-League on the back of a quality resume and the backing of players that have played both with him and against him. Sources suggest that he has already impressed his new team mates who can’t wait to see him take to the field and show the rest of the competition what he can do.

Prediction:

Adelaide will face a much more settled Central Coast side this weekend than the one coming off consecutive defeats. The Mariners won’t want a repeat of their last outing at Coopers Stadium, while the Reds will want more of the same. Both sides have plenty to prove, and for me it’s hard to find a winner. In what should be an entertaining contest, I’m tipping a draw.

Adelaide 2 – 2 Central Coast.

Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
Friday, 14 February 2014
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-off: 7.00pm local (7:30pm AEDT)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo
Fourth Official: Rick Schneider
#ADLvCCM

Last Time a They Met:
December 14, 2013. Coopers Stadium, Adelaide. Adelaide 4 – 0 Central Coast

Head To Head:
Played: 28. Wins: Adelaide 7, Central Coast 14. Draws: 7.

Recent Form (Last 5):
Adelaide: WLDWW
Central Coast: LLWWD

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Jon McKAIN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.JERONIMO, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.Cameron WATSON, 17.Awer MABIL,18.Michael ZULLO, 19.Jake BARKER-DAISH, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 23.Jordan ELSEY
**Two to be omitted**

Ins: 19.Jake BARKER-DAISH (promoted), 23.Jordan ELSEY (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 6.CASSIO (hamstring tendon – indefinite), 15.Jacob MELLING (knee – 3 weeks), 31.Ryan GRIFFITHS (shin soreness), 21.Tarek ELRICH (Suspended)

Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1.Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 3.Joshua ROSE, 4.Marcel SEIP, 5.Zachary ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9.Mitchell DUKE, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (Gk), 15.Storm ROUX, 17.Anthony CACERES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Bernie IBINI, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.Kim SEUNG-YONG, 27.Isaka CERNAK
**One to be omitted**

Ins: 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (returns from suspension), 26. Kim SEUNG-YONG (pending International Transfer Clearance)

Outs: 29. Matt SIM (omitted)

Unavailable: 10.Marcos FLORES (knee – season), 14.Michael MCGLINCHEY (on loan – Vegalta Sendai) 18.Michael NEILL (knee – season), 23.Adam KWASNIK (knee – season)

Matthew Berry

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

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