Central Coast Stadium will be the Mariners’ domain once again on Sunday afternoon as they host the Melbourne Victory in round 14 of the Hyundai A-League.
The Mariners will be looking to rebound from losses to Perth and Wellington in the past two rounds, that have them sitting in 10th spot but only five points back from the teams in the top six.
The Victory meanwhile have won their last two matches to move up to seventh spot, and if the Mariners are to take the three points from this outing they will need to break a winless streak against Sunday’s opponents that stretches back to April 2013.
Marco Kurz’s squad received a blow on Friday though, when it was confirmed that Ola Toivonen would miss the trip from Melbourne through injury.
Alen Stajcic’s men started on the front foot against Wellington and came close to taking the lead early, only for Giancarlo Gallifuoco’s sizzling drive to cannon off the cross bar instead, marking the seventh time the Mariners have hit the frame of goal this season, the most of any team.
They will need to be more clinical this time out though, with Victory keeping five clean sheets so far in the competition, two more than any other team has done.
Milan Ðurić, Mikey McGlinchey and Dylan Ruiz-Diaz were all additions to this week’s squad, with Ðurić in particular likely to provide a boost after being rested from the loss to Wellington as a precaution.
Speaking ahead of the game, Stajcic stressed the need for consistency and to be switched on for a full 90 minutes as they prepare to face one of the league’s form teams.
“At the end of the day if you can play well for 45 minutes or 15 minutes or 60 minutes then it shows you can do it,” he said.
“So our capacity to play at that level is good and that’s the part that’s encouraging.”
“But if you don’t play well for longer periods it’s not usually physical or technical or tactical, it’s usually mental, so as you develop confidence as a footballer those things tend to improve.”
“We happen to catch teams when they’re all in form.”
“Victory obviously had a tough start to the year as we all know, but the last couple of weeks they’ve put together some good performances and a good win last week so no doubt we’re coming up against one of the super clubs of the A-League who are just starting to hit form.”
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Eunsun KIM, 6.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 7.Milan ÐURIĆ, 8.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 9.Jordan MURRAY, 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Daniel DESILVA, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Dylan FOX, 17.Samuel SILVERA, 18.Gianni STENSNESS, 19.Matthew SIMON, 26.Joshua NISBET, 27.Lewis MILLER, 29.Jair BRITTO, 30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ **2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 7. Milan ÐURIĆ (Return from Injury), 8. Michael MCGLINCHEY (Promoted), 30. Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ (Promoted)
Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.James DONACHIE, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Jakob POULSEN, 9.Andrew NABBOUT, 10.Robbie KRUSE, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 16.Josh HOPE, 17.Elvis KAMSOBA, 18.Migjen BASHA, 19.Ben CARRIGAN, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Adama TRAORE, 22.Kristijan DOBRAS, 24.Anthony LESIOTIS, 25.Brandon LAUTON, 26.Jay BARNETT, 50.Brendan WHITE (gk) **2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 11.Ola TOIVONEN (return from suspension), 19.Ben CARRIGAN (promoted), 25.Brandon LAUTON (promoted)
Outs: 5.Tim HOOGLAND (injured)
Unavailable: 1.Matt ACTON (shoulder), 14.Thomas DENG (international duty)
Match Details |
Sunday, 12th January 2020
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 6pm (AEDT)
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew McOrist
Fourth Official: Ben Abraham
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Watch: Fox Sports 505, Kayo Sports and MyFootball Live App