Western Sydney Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners
Pirtek Stadium, Monday 23rd December, 7.00 pm
The Wanderers returned to winning ways last week, against the Jets, with a 1 nil victory in Newcastle. That was the first win for the Wanderers in a month, and keeps the pressure on league leader’s the Brisbane Roar.
Central Coast defeated the Phoenix by the same score line on Thursday in their match at North Sydney Oval. A much needed confidence boost after their 4-0 hammering at the hands of Adelaide.
Western Sydney have never defeated the Mariners at home, this is something they will look to rectify as they chase first place on the ladder.
The Wanderers will be boosted by the return to training of Santalab and Juric. If the latter can be fit for the game, the Wanderers will definitely have a more potent attack.
Central Coast’s key man will be McBreen, having scored a brace the last time these two teams met at Pirtek Stadium.
These two teams met in the opening round of the season sharing the points. The Wanderers came from behind in that match after Duke had given the Mariners the lead.
Last week Bridge was successfully identified as a potential match winner. This week the battle in midfield will be key to either team’s chances of winning. Mooy has been inconsistent, but has had some patches of sparkling form. If he can string together a good performance, he may well be the difference.
This game will be tight and tense, like every other time these two meet. The Mariners have the edge over the Wanderers, with the Western Sydney team only beating their rivals once.
Both teams will be looking to give their supporters an early Christmas present, with that in mind, the home team to win this one.