It’s Finals Time. The Mariners and Macarthur will meet this afternoon in a blockbuster Elimination Final clash at Central Coast Stadium, to kick off the A-League 2021 Finals Series.
The Mariners have not played finals since 2014, and a big crowd is expected in Gosford as the two teams meet for the fourth time this campaign.
With three wins in the three A-League contests so far this season the Mariners have the wood over Macarthur, but Head Coach Alen Stajcic said that won’t play into Saturday’s clash in any way for his side.
“We’ve played them in a friendly at the beginning of the year and they beat us in that, so we’ve actually played them four times already this year and they’ve all been encounters that could have went either way actually to be honest,” Stajcic said.
“Ultimately, that’s just a bit of history and obviously you get a little bit of belief from that but it’s a finals game and we know it’s a one off and there are no draws.”
“There is going to be a winner, or a loser and we just know it’s going to be a tough game. The top six is so close this year and anyone can win any game, so this game included.”
Stajcic welcomes back Daniel DeSilva to the squad for this game after he missed outings against Newcastle and Western United, but is set to be without Captain Oliver Bozanic after he was withdrawn in warmup ahead of last Saturday’s game.
He has options in midfield though, as shown in that win over Western when Josh Nisbet dropped deeper to operate alongside Gianni Stensness, and Macarthur will be wary of DeSilva’s impact after he struck the winner against them just two weeks ago in Campbelltown.
Stajcic wasn’t giving much away on Friday, but he stressed that his side will need to be at their absolute best if they are to see off a Macarthur team chock full of big game experience.
“We need to do everything well, we are playing against an extremely experienced team, [with] I don’t even know how many ex-Socceroos,” he said.
“I don’t even know how many it is but its five or six in the team and Susaeta and Derbyshire and Benat coming back into the team as well.”
“We are coming up against a team that has more experience than us but one that we know we can beat if we play well. I don’t think there is any onet hing that we need to do well.
“We need to do everything well. We cannot drop our guard with the ball, without the ball, transition periods, set pieces, we must be on the ball for everything, knowing that any one moment can be the deciding factor in the game.”
Gates open at 6pm, and patrons are encouraged to be at the game early to avoid big lines ahead of the 7:05pm kick off.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3.Lewis MILLER, 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 6.Gianni STENSNESS, 10.Daniel DESILVA, 11.Jack CLISBY, 12.Marco UREÑA,14.Daniel BOUMAN, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 22.Michal JANOTA, 23.Dan HALL, 25.Matt HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA, 29.Alou KUOL, 30.Jordan SMYLIE, 32.Max BALARD, 41.Jing REEC
**2-4 to be omitted**
In: 10.Daniel DESILVA (Return from Injury), 30.Jordan SMYLIE (Promoted)
Unavailable: 8.Oliver BOZANIC (Leg – 1 week), 21.Ruon TONGYIK (International Duty)
Macarthur FC squad: 1.Adam FEDERICI (gk), 2.Jake McGING, 3.Antony GOLEC, 4.Benat ETXEBARRIA, 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c), 7.Ivan FRANJIC, 11.Tommy OAR, , 12.James MEREDITH, 14.Moudi NAJJAR, 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 16.Nick SUMAN (gk), 19.Michael RUHS, 21.Jake HOLLMAN, 22.Liam ROSE, 23.Walter SCOTT, 24.Charles M’MOMBWA, 27.Matt DERBYSHIRE, 29.Antonis MARTIS, 31.Lachlan ROSE, 33.Markel SUSAETA
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Antony GOLEC (promoted), 4.Benat ETXEBARRIA (promoted), 23.Walter SCOTT (promoted), 27.Matt DERBYSHIRE (promoted)
Outs: 10.Loic PUYO (Suspension - 1 match) 17.Kyle CIMENTI (not selected)
Unavailable: 6.Aleksandar JOVANOVIC (calf – 1-2 weeks), 8.Denis GENREAU (National Team Selection)
Game Details |
A-League 2021 Elimination Final 1
Saturday, 10 June 2021
Central Coast Mariners (3) v Macarthur FC (6)
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 7:05pm (Local)(7:05pm (AEST))
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Daniel Elder
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 6:30pm (AEST), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SEN 1170AM, SENTrack Central Coast 801AM), COAST FM 96.3
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvMAC #WhoWillTakeItAll
To purchase tickets visit www.a-league.com.au/tickets