AAMI Park will host a proper blockbuster on Monday when the Mariners take on Melbourne City in Match Week 13 of the A-League.
The visitors remain on top of the A-League table heading into the match, while Melbourne City sit fifth but with two games in hand and having won their last four matches in a row.
That run has included a victory against Sydney FC and a thrashing of rivals Melbourne Victory to the tune of six goals, and Andrew Nabbout has added an extra dimension to their attack since returning from injury.
The Mariners will be without Gianni Stensness after his foot injury played up once again, but are otherwise at full strength and will be up for the challenge against a side they beat earlier this season.
In that match, Matt Simon’s 200th, the Mariners fought back from 2-0 down without captain Oliver Bozanic to seal a 3-2 win thanks to goals from Jaden Casella, Simon and Danny DeSilva.
Speaking on the weekend, Head Coach Alen Stajcic admitted the outing will be a tough test, akin to a David v Goliath battle but knows his team will be more than ready to take on City.
“For me Melbourne City are the form team in terms of our rivals, they’ve convincingly beaten Sydney, Macarthur, Wanderers, that’s a pretty good form guide in the last month or so, Melbourne Victory too,” he said.
“So they’re a team who has improved significantly with the additions of [Rostyn] Griffiths coming back in and Nabbout coming back in.”
“Ultimately they’re probably where they should be, the richest and biggest club in the league in terms of resources, facilities, player depth and player pool, coaching staff, they’ve really ticked all the boxes to produce a successful organization.”
“So it’s a little bit of David v Goliath in terms of all those things, but we showed we could match them last time, we were 2-0 down but even in those periods I thought we were the better team, so it gives me a lot of confidence that we can compete.”
“There’s all the resources and facilities but money doesn’t buy everything, and I think we’ve shown a lot of characteristics that come for free, the resilience, the character, the team unity, so a lot of positives to draw on into the game and on top of that we’ve had some quality play.”
“We’ve defended really well, we’ve counter attacked really well, we’ve controlled decent passages of different games really well and have a lot of players in good form and a lot of belief and confidence coming into the team as well.”
“So there’s no reason we can’t compete again away from home and show that we are one of the form teams of the competition.”
Catch all the action LIVE on Fox Sports, Kayo Sport and the MyFootball Live app, or join us at Mingara for pre-game MarinersTV and to watch the game on the big screen.
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Tom GLOVER (gk), 2.Scott GALLOWAY, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 4.Nuno REIS, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 11.Craig NOONE, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 14.Naoki TSUBAKI, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 17.Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 18.Connor METCALFE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Adrian LUNA, 22.Curtis GOOD, 23.Marco TILIO, 33.Matthew SUTTON (gk), 35.Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES, 36.Kerrin STOKES
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 20.Adrian LUNA (returns from injury), 35.Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES (promoted)
Unavailable: 8.Aiden O’NEILL (back)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10.Daniel DESILVA, 11.Jack CLISBY, 12.Marcos UREÑA, 14.Daniel BOUMAN, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michal JANOTA, 23.Dan HALL, 25. Matthew HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA, 29.Alou KUOL, 32. Max BALARD
**0-2 to be omitted** Ins: 32. Max BALARD (promoted)
Outs: 6. Gianni STENSNESS (Foot – 1 week)
Match Details |
Monday, 22 March 2021
Melbourne City FC v Central Coast Mariners
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 7:05 pm (Local)(7:05 pm (AEDT))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Adam Bavcar
VAR: Alex King
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:00pm (AEDT), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
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