Captain Nick Montgomery has put the call for Members & fans to turn up in numbers and help push the Central Coast Mariners across the line in Sunday's festively themed clash with Brisbane Roar at Central Coast Stadium.
In another huge boost of confidence heading into Hyundai A-League Round 11, Fabio Ferreira will be available for selection and could potentially return to the Mariners’ line up for the first time since round 5.
Barring other NSW teams, the Roar easily sit as one of our biggest rivals with former Mariner John Aloisi at the helm and memories still lingering of the heartbreaking loss in the 2011 Hyundai A-League Grand Final.
Kick-off is at 5.00pm, however with FREE Santa photos , fans on the field as well as a Westfield W-League curtain raiser between Kyah Simon's Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar, you'll want to get in early for this one.
Can the Mariners place an early Christmas present under the tree - or rather palm trees? Let's take a look.
The Run In
The surprise packets of this season, John Aloisi's second placed Brisbane Roar have chugged along at a solid pace this year and look certainties to go deep into the finals.
Last weekend, the Queenslanders used the humid conditions of Cairns to their advantage in a 2-1 win, pouncing on a tiring Wellington Phoenix with goals in the last twenty minutes to Steven Lustica and Jamie Maclaren.
However it is interesting to note that the Roar haven’t travelled well and their only interstate win this season was in Round 1 against the Wanderers.
The Mariners meanwhile, were almost as far away in the land as you can get from Cairns last round, going down 2-1 to Perth Glory in Perth.
A classy link-up between Storm Roux and Roy O’Donovan yielded the Mariners’ solitary goal and if it weren’t for two pieces of Nebojsa Marinkovic magic, it may have been a different story.
Who to watch?
While it was a squad he very much inherited, John Aloisi has done a fantastic job of fluidly combining youth and experience to drive success.
Experienced heads such as Thomas Broich, Henrique and Corona have defied expectations and placed among the Roar’s most damaging players this season
Plus the next crop coming through consists of talent such as Steven Lustica, Jamie Maclaren, as well as Brandon Borrello who scored a brace against the Mariners in Round 2.
The question on everyone’s lips this weekend is, will Fabio Ferreira be fit enough to make a return? In saying that, Mitch Austin will look to kick off where he started against Perth as one of the most dangerous wingers in the competition.
- Brisbane Roar’s Corona has made 163 passes into the final third; more than any other player this season.
- John Aloisi has lost both his matches as a manager at Central Coast Stadium (2 losses with Melbourne Heart).
Last Time We Met – Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Round 2, BRI 2 CCM 1, Suncorp Stadium
We last met the Roar back in October in Brisbane, going down 2-1 courtesy of a Brandon Borrello brace.
Inaccuracy on goal cost the Mariners, with the match looking fairly even on paper otherwise.
However the highlight was Josh Bingham’s maiden Hyundai A-League goal, which was surely the first of many to come for the 20-year-old.
There were also appeals for a penalty when Anthony Caceres was chopped down in the box that were waved away by the man in the middle.
Sunday December 20 2015
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Brisbane Roar
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Gates open: 1:45pm
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #CCMvBRI & #CCMFC