Mariners unchanged in quest for Victory
The Central Coast Mariners have set their sights on the summit of the Hyundai A-League and today head for the Victorian capital with an unchanged line up that is primed for Friday’s top of the table clash against the Melbourne Victory at the Telstra Dome.
The Central Coast Mariners have set their sights on the summit of the Hyundai A-League and today head for the Victorian capital with an unchanged line up that is primed for Friday-s top of the table clash against the Melbourne Victory at the Telstra Dome.
Positively for the visitors, each of the fifteen squad members that secured the yellow and navy a precious 3-0 triumph over Adelaide United at Bluetongue Stadium last Saturday are again available for selection.
Included amongst the Mariners- traveling party will be Qantas Socceroo Mile Jedinak, who will arrive in Melbourne on match day following his involvement in Australia-s 1-0 FIFA World Cup qualification triumph over Bahrain in Manama earlier this morning.
As potential cover for Jedinak, fellow midfielder Andre Gumprecht has been drafted into the Mariners- line up after completing two matches in the National Youth League.
While Gumprecht has returned to full fitness, the Mariners are still without Andrew Clark, Ahmad Elrich, Dean Heffernan, Paul O-Grady and Greg Owens, though each have returned to varying intensities of training in recent weeks and months, with all but Elrich potentially set to figure in selection calculations by the end of the month.
"Last Saturday was a great morale booster going into Friday night - the top two teams to open the round up and it-ll be a big crowd at the Telstra Dome and the boys have been buzzing this week at training," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.
"We love going down to Melbourne, we-ve had some great results down there, some great games down there - the 3-3 draw comes to mind, our 0-0 draw down there last year was still a great game.
"They-re always big occasions and generally we do well and the 2-2 draw up here earlier in the season still gives me nightmares, because that-s a game that we should have won, even when they had eleven men on the park, we were doing pretty well against them.
"They-re at full strength, whereas for us, hopefully Jedinak is back from overseas to take part, but whatever team we put on the park will be up for the game on Friday."
Friday-s match up between the Mariners and the Victory marks the thirteenth meeting between the two clubs in all competitions.
Aside from ten Hyundai A-League encounters, the two clubs have met twice in the Pre-Season Cup, which has been the Mariners- greatest source of success against their southern counterparts.
Initially one of Melbourne-s bogey sides after defeating the Victory four times over their first five meetings and being the only Hyundai A-League side to beat the Victory by a two-goal margin throughout 2005/06, let alone on four separate occasions, the Mariners have defeated Melbourne just once over the past two seasons.
In total, the Mariners have posted five wins over the Victory, with Melbourne responding with four triumphs in addition to three draws.
The Telstra Dome, the venue for Friday-s match, is the only Hyundai A-League venue where the Mariners have yet to record a Hyundai A-League win.
"Melbourne are a big threat, they had a great result in Queensland a fortnight ago, they-re strong at the back and can score goals from all over the park, it-s going to be hard, but going into these games you have to back yourself," said McKinna.
"We-re not going to be over confident, because we never are, we know it-s going to be a hard game and we-re going to have to be on top of ours to get anything out of it."
Melbourne Victory vs. Central Coast Mariners
Telstra Dome - Friday, 21 November 2008, Kick off 8pm
DOB 26 Nov, 1974
DOB 9 Apr, 1984
DOB 19 Feb, 1987
DOB 5 Sep, 1988
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DOB 10 Jan, 1982
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DOB 14 Aug, 1986
DOB 29 Jul, 1983
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DOB 27 Mar, 1985
DOB 5 Mar, 1975
DOB 3 Aug, 1984
DOB 13 Jan, 1989
The Mariners- quest for top spot in the Hyundai A-League continues on Friday, 21 November when they travel to the Telstra Dome to face table toppers the Melbourne Victory. Kick off is at 8pm.
The Mariners are next at their Bluetongue Stadium home on Saturday, 6 December when they host the Queensland Roar in Round 14. Kick off is at 6pm.
Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.