GRAHAM Arnold’s Mariners fly across the Tasman Sea this weekend to face Ricki Herbert’s Wellington Phoenix outfit at Westpac Stadium.
GRAHAM Arnold-s Mariners fly across the Tasman Sea this weekend to face Ricki Herbert-s Wellington Phoenix outfit at Westpac Stadium.
The game at the Cake Tin pits second placed Central Coast against eighth placed Wellington, though anyone thinking victory in the New Zealand capital is a simple task should think again.
With a dangerous frontline including Belgian international Stein Huysegems and the well-respected Paul Ifill, as well as a tough backline consisting of Andrew Durante and Ben Sigmund, Arnold knows the ‘Nix will provide a stern test on their home patch.
Nevertheless, the Mariners enjoy a strong record against the Phoenix in the land of the long white cloud, having won four of nine meetings between the two clubs in Wellington.
Add in two draws and just three losses for the Mariners at the Cake Tin, and Arnold-s men will fly south understanding that historically they have performed well in front of the ‘Yellow Fever- faithful.
Westpac Stadium was the location of two crucial Mariners victories last term. Early in the campaign, goals to Bernie Ibini and Matthew Simon earned the yellow and navy an important 2-1 triumph, while on the final day of the regular season Arnold-s team won again by the same scoreline.
On that occasion, John Sutton headed the Mariners into the lead before Ibini netted another early in the second stanza to give the Mariners a two-goal cushion. Wellington struck back with a goal via the boot of Leo Bertos, but the Mariners saw the game out to ensure they claimed the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League Premiership.
The round 6 clash between the Phoenix and Mariners promises to provide fans with yet another entertaining contest as Central Coast strive for their third win on the bounce, while Wellington look to return to winning ways after a 3-2 defeat to Melbourne Victory on Monday.
Danger, Danger If statistics are anything to go by the Mariners will need to keep a close eye on Paul Ifill. The dangerous hitman terrorises Hyundai A-League defences with his pace, power and guile, and has netted an impressive five goals in just seven appearances against the Mariners. But Arnold-s defence will need to ensure they-re tracking Belgian Stein Huysegems too. The former Lierse and Feyernood striker already has three Hyundai A-League goals to his name this season. Impressive.
Golden Goal The opening goal of any game is important though the numbers show the Mariners and Phoenix are teams which ordinarily earn all three points should they take the lead. Last season, Herbert-s team opened the scoring on 12 occasions, and managed to claim victory 11 times. Arnold-s men? They scored first 16 times, claiming 14 triumphs, a draw and suffering defeat only once having netted the first goal of the game.
Sizzling Streak Graham Arnold will be hoping his side-s hot streak against the Phoenix isn-t about to end. The yellow and navy have won five straight games against Wellington. Their last defeat to the New Zealanders was in round 3 of the 2010/11 season.
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 5. Zachary Anderson, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 8. Adriano Pellegrino, 9. Bernie Ibini, 10. Tomas Rogic, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 12. Troy Hearfield, 13. Brent Griffiths, 14. Michael McGlinchey, 15. Brad McDonald, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 17. Anthony Caceres, 18. Nick Montgomery, 19. Mitchell Duke, 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk), 21. Mile Sterjovski, 23. Adam Kwasnik *seven to be omitted*
In: 8. Adriano Pellegrino, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 13. Brent Griffiths, 15. Brad McDonald, 17. Anthony Caceres, 19. Mitchell Duke, 23. Adam Kwasnik
Unavailable: 22. James Oates (Ankle - 2 months)
Wellington Phoenix Squad: 1. Mark Paston (GK), 2. Manny Muscat, 3. Tony Lochhead, 5. Michael Boxall, 6. Alex Smith, 7. Leo Bertos, 8. Paul Ifill, 9. Benjamin Totori, 10. Stein Huysegems, 11. Jeremy Brockie, 12. Tyler Boyd, 16. Louis Fenton, 17. Vince Lia, 18. Ben Sigmund, 20. Glen Moss (GK), 22. Andrew Durante (C), 28. Ricardo Clarke *two to be omitted*
Ins: Ben Sigmund (returns from suspension), Ricardo Clarke (promoted)
Unavailable: Lucas Pantelis (knee injury - indefinite), Mirjan Pavlovic (medical condition - indefinite), Dani Sanchez (knee injury - 3 weeks)
Statistics Statistics provided by SportsData
Overall Head-To-Head Record Played 15; Wellington Phoenix FC 5, Central Coast Mariners FC 8, Drawn 2
Head-To-Head at this venue Played 9; Wellington Phoenix FC 3, Central Coast Mariners FC 4, Drawn 2
Record Crowd These Two Clubs: 14,327 At Westpac Stadium, 12 Feb 2010, Wellington Phoenix FC won 3-0
Last 5 Matches Head-to-Head Central Coast Mariners FC 2-1, Westpac Stadium, 25 Mar 2012 Central Coast Mariners FC 2-0, Bluetongue Stadium, 18 Feb 2012 Central Coast Mariners FC 2-1, Westpac Stadium, 4 Nov 2011 Central Coast Mariners FC 1-0, Bluetongue Stadium, 9 Jan 2011 Central Coast Mariners FC 3-0, Westpac Stadium, 13 Nov 2010
Biggest Head-To-Head Wins Wellington Phoenix FC 3-0, Westpac Stadium, 12 Feb 2010 Central Coast Mariners FC 3-0, Bluetongue Stadium, 31 Aug 2007
Total Goals Head-To-Head Wellington Phoenix FC 12, Central Coast Mariners FC 17
Total Cards Head-To-Head (Yellow-Red) Wellington Phoenix FC (31-0), Central Coast Mariners FC (25-0)
Top Goal Scorers Head to Head: Paul Ifill (Wellington Phoenix FC) 5 Adam Kwasnik (Central Coast Mariners FC) 3
Most Yellow Cards Head to Head: Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix FC) 5 Matt Simon (Central Coast Mariners FC) 4
Most Red Cards Head to Head: Nil
Upcoming Match Information Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners Sunday 11 November, 2012 Westpac Stadium, Wellington Kick-off: 2:30pm (local); 4:30pm (AEDT) Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official match hash-tag is #NIXvCCM Coverage: Live and exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 2. Updates on ABC Local Radio & Grandstand Digital. Live call on Coast FM (96.3FM or streamed: www.coastfm.org.au) Referee: Lucien Laverdure