It’s the final home game of the season for the Central Coast Mariners tonight, as they host Western United and aim to seal the deal on a home Elimination Final.
Friday night’s result between Wellington and Macarthur means Alen Stajcic’s side remain in fourth heading into this game but can jump to third with a win pending Brisbane’s result against Sydney.
The Mariners are coming in off the back off a 2-0 #F3Derby loss to the Jets, while Western United have not won in eight matches, including a 2-1 loss to Macarthur on Monday night and a humbling at the hands of Melbourne Victory last Friday.
Western will still have pride to play for as well as the fact that it will be Andrew Durante’s final A-League game, but will be without Besart Berisha, Bradden Inman, Joshua Risdon and Victor Sanchez who are all out injured.
Staj did not give a definitive answer on Daniel DeSilva’s fitness at media yesterday, with the attacking midfielder likely to be decided upon closer to kickoff.
The two meetings between the teams this season have been rather different, with the first clash at Central Coast ending in a thrilling 3-2 victory for the Mariners, and Western prevailing 1-0 in Launceston in the second outing.
Dan Hall is set to make his third start of the campaign after filling in for Ruon Tongyik against the Jets, and Staj spoke fondly of him on Friday, but said tonight will be a tough outing for the youngster.
“He’s a young kid who has come through our academy, and he performed really well on the night, but he has some tough games coming up,” Stajcic said.
“Coming up against Diamanti is going to be a whole new challenge for him and a great learning experience for him so I’m really excited for him to come up against some world class players this weekend.”
“It’s going to be a great game for him, a great opportunity for him and a great learning experience in his development as a footballer.”
With the seven year wait for finals over for the Mariners, the boss said the excitement and anticipation is paramount with the post-season now just a week away.
If the Mariners host an Elimination Final they will take on either Macarthur or Adelaide United, and the team are ready to show themselves in the pressure cooker atmosphere of finals.
“We’ve got one eye on this game and its importance,” Stajcic said.
“But having that excitement level and that waiting for the week after just gives us a great sense of accomplishment and desire to get there and get to that weekend match where we can show ourselves in that life and death moment.”
The Mariners made a late change to the squad on Friday night, with young attacker Jing Reec added to the extended squad after a strong start to the NPL season with Nick Montgomery's squad.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3. Lewis MILLER, 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 6. Gianni STENSNESS, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 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, 41. Jing REEC
**2-4 to be omitted**
In: 10. Daniel DESILVA (Return from Injury), 41. Jing REEC (Promoted)
Unavailable: 21. Ruon TONGYIK (International Duty)
Western United FC squad: 1.Filip KURTO (gk), 2. Aaron CALVER, 3.Brendan HAMILL, 4.Andrew DURANTE, 5.Dylan PIERIAS, 6.Tomoki IMAI, 8.Lachlan WALES, 10.Steven LUSTICA, 11.Connor PAIN, 12. Dalibor MARKOVIC, 21.Sebastian PASQUALI, 22.Tomislav USKOK, 23.Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 25.Luke DUZEL, 26. Nicolas MILANOVIC, 27. Jerry SKOTADIS, 30.Ryan SCOTT (gk), 31.Adisu BAYEW, 32. Manyluak AGUEK, 34.Iker GUARROTXENA
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 22.Tomislav USKOK (returns from suspension), 4.Andrew DURANTE (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Besart BERISHA (rib), 17. Bradden INMAN (hamstring), 19. Joshua RISDON (Foot), 20. Victor SANCHEZ (calf)
GAME DETAILS |
Saturday, 5 June 2021
Central Coast Mariners v Western United FC
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 5:05pm (Local)(5:05pm (AEST))
Referee: Jack Morgan
Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Powers
Fourth Official: Tim Danaskos
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5:00pm (AEST), ABC TV from 5:00pm (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 Track Central Coast 801am), COAST FM 96.3
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvWUN