The Central Coast Mariners will finish off their season on Monday, taking on the Melbourne Victory at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in their final outing of the 2019/20 season.
These two teams last met back in round 12, where Matt Simon’s 100th minute winner broke an almost seven year winless streak against the Victory thanks to a chaotic final 10 minutes.
The Mariners have already played three games since the return of the league, falling 1-0 to Perth before draws against the Jets and the Wanderers came across a four day span.
The Victory meanwhile lost to Western United and Brisbane Roar in their first two games back but Alen Stajcic said the results don’t tell the full story for Monday’s opponents.
“Victory have actually played pretty well, they’ve put in some young boys and fresh faces as well in the last couple of matches but they’ve actually impressed.
“I recall looking back at their NYL final against Sydney and a lot of the boys played in that match as well and played at a very good level in the attacking side of the game so they post a massive threat against us in terms of their attack.”
“And then when you add Rojas and Nabbout, probably two of the most dangerous players in the A-League, they’re still going to be an extreme threat for us in the back third.”
Confidence has been taken though from the defensive performance of Stajcic’s side in the past few games, with a clean sheet against Newcastle followed by a strong showing that was only breached in the final minutes against the Wanderers.
“Even before the three A-League matches we had a 0-0 draw with Wellington and a 2-1 loss to Sydney and they’re only friendlies but it showed we could limit the amount of chances to the opposition,” Stajcic said.
“Earlier on in the year we were giving away 10-12 chances a game and in the last few matches we’ve cut that down to anywhere between 2-5 chances a game.”
“When it’s such a small amount you can rely on someone like Birraz to pull out a couple of saves a game which he’s done, rather than having to make 7-8 critical saves a game.”
“So I thought the boys at the back have done really well but it has been a whole team effort from the midfield to the boys up front to the back four.”
Stajcic has preached the importance in recent weeks of blooding youth at the club but said on Sunday that no one will be given a free opportunity regardless of age.
Aside from Jordan Murray's dislocated shoulder, there are no injuries to report from three games in the space of 10 days, and Stajcic will have a near full-strength group to pick from ahead of kick-off on Monday.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 7.Milan ÐURIĆ, 8. Mikey MCGLINCHEY, 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Daniel DESILVA, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Dylan FOX, 17.Sam SILVERA, 18.Gianni STENSNESS, 19.Matt SIMON, 22.Jacob MELLING, 26.Joshua NISBET, 27.Lewis MILLER, 29.Jair BRITTO, 30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ, 33. Louis KHOURY, 44.Alou KUOL
**2-4 to be omitted**
INS: 8. Mikey MCGLINCHEY (Promoted), 33. Louis KHOURY (Promoted)
Unavailable: 9. Jordan MURRAY (Shoulder)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 4.James DONACHIE, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7.Kenny ATHIU, 9.Andrew NABBOUT, 13.Birkan KIRDAR, 15.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 16.Josh HOPE, 17.Elvis KAMSOBA, 18.Migjen BASHA, 21.Adama TRAORE, 23.Marco ROJAS, 24.Anthony LESIOTIS, 25.Brandon LAUTON, 26.Jay BARNETT, 30.Matthew SUTTON (gk), 31.Aaron ANDERSON, 32.So NISHIKAWA, 43.Luis LAWRIE-LATTANZIO
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Kenny ATHIU (promoted), 18.Migjen BASHA (promoted)
Unavailable: 5.Tim HOOGLAND (released), 8.Jakob POULSEN (released), 10.Robbie KRUSE (knee - season), 11.Ola TOIVONEN (released), 20.Lawrence Thomas (released)
Match Details |
Monday, 3 August 2020
Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah
Kick-Off: 7:30pm (Local) (7:30pm (AEST))
Referee: Tim Danaskos
Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew McOrist
Fourth Official: Alex King
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 507 from 7:30pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers