This Saturday night the Central Coast Mariners host Melbourne Victory and we’re welcoming all grassroots players to bring their team for $10 per player! Kick-off at Central Coast Stadium is 5:35pm.
The Mariners are likely to debut one of their new signings in former Premier League midfielder Jem Karacan after a full week of training on the Central Coast. In the attacking stocks, Tommy Oar is in contention to make his return from a hamstring injury.
For the Victory, in form attacker Ola Toivonen is fit and firing – whilst marquee man Keisuke Honda continues his recovery from his hamstring injury.
Mike Mulvey’s Mariners will be looking to turn their run of positive performances into a positive result, after conceding a last minute goal against Adelaide United last Sunday.
Kevin Muscat’s Victory are flying high in second place on the A-League ladder, unbeaten in their last four fixtures.
Mulvey in the media
Click here to view Mike Mulvey's press conference
The Matt Millar saga…
“I think it shows that the dream is alive. All the NPL players out there will be looking at this situation, the Mariners gave him that opportunity, we developed him into the player that he is today and he’s now decided his future lies elsewhere and that’s it, what’s done is done.
“Matt Millar and his agent knew very well that we wanted to keep him, we just didn’t have the opportunity to table the offer before he signed the contract at Newcastle.
“He’s made a decision and he needs to live with that decision and I’m comfortable with that because he’s a human being, if he had his time again maybe he would have waited because the offer that we actually tabled for him was quite a good deal more than what he’s going to earn at Newcastle next season. But, look it’s done.
“He’s done very well for us this season, this is not abnormal in sports. I look at when I was in Brisbane we had Besart Berisha, he signed for Melbourne Victory half way through the season. I looked him in the eyes and said I understand what you’re doing, I understand why it’s happening can we count on you for the season, he said absolutely 100% and he ended up scoring the winning goal in the semi-final and then the equalising goal in the Grand Final. He wore his heart on his sleeve and you know Matt will play tomorrow, we’ll see how he goes, it’s up to him now he’s got to live in the spotlight. But, you don’t cut your nose off to spite your face he’s been playing very well for us and let’s see if he can continue that tomorrow.
Melbourne Victory are coming to town…
“I think we’ve been in pretty good form since the turn of the year. We haven’t got the results, last week we lost in the last minute. There’s some key moments in games where we really need to improve and that was in the last minute allowing a cross to come in from wide areas. But, we had chances to finish the game off as well so I’m really happy with the lads in terms of their endeavour and their quality that they’re putting on the pitch at the moment. But, we’re in the business of winning games so we want to start winning. We beat the other Melbourne team the other week and there’s no reason that we can’t beat Melbourne Victory tomorrow.
“We’ve got to make sure in transition that we are tight. I think that they’ll be looking at us and saying well we’ve caused a few teams problems in the last few weeks. So, they’ll be coming here a bit wary of us.
“We’ve got Tommy Oar who is fit again he’ll be on the bench. Jem Karacan’s probably fit enough to be on the bench tomorrow so yeah there will be a couple of new faces in there. But, this club is not about one person, you asked the questions before about Matt, this club is not about one person this club is bigger than that. We’ve got an eye on the future, we know the kind of people we want involved in this club, we know the kind of players that we want involved in this club and there’s going to be ups and downs along the way.
“What we need to concentrate on tomorrow is the football game, and make sure that we’re ready to go and if we show the same effort, endeavour, energy and enthusiasm with the sprinkling of quality that we’ve got, then we will give Melbourne Victory a very good game,” Mulvey said.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITS, 3.Jack CLISBY, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY, 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 13.Aiden O’NEILL, 15.Kye ROWLES, 18.Matt MILLAR, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Mario SHABOW, 25.Jordan MURRAY, 26.Josh NISBET, 68.Jem KARACAN
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Tommy OAR (return from injury), 23.Mario SHABOW (return from injury), 68.Jem KARACAN (new signing)
Outs: 17.Peter KEKERIS (omitted)
Unavailable: 21.Corey GAMEIRO (calf) & 4.Jake McGING (hamstring)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 13.Birkan KIRDAR, 14.Tommy DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 16.Josh HOPE, 19.Rahmat AKBARI, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21.Carl VALERI (C), 24.Elvis KAMSOBA, 25.Anthony LESIOTIS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5. Georg Niedermeier (promoted) 19. Rahmat Akbari (promoted)
Unavailable: Jai INGHAM (quad – TBC), Keisuke HONDA (Hamstring – 1 week)
Opta Stat Attack
- Melbourne Victory are undefeated in their last 16 A-League games against the Mariners, scoring nine goals in their last two meetings in the competition
- The Central Coast Mariners’ last A-League win against Melbourne Victory at Central Coast Stadium came in April 2013
- Each of Victory’s last five A-League games away from home has seen the same results at both half time and full time
- The Mariners have endured the lowest possession figure of any team, with Victory enjoying more possession than any other team
- Victory have conceded just one goal from outside the box this A-League season, the fewest of any team in the competition
- The Mariners have only scored five second half goals this season, fewer than any other team
- Matt Simon has won 78 aerial duels this season, more than any other player
- Ola Toivonen has been directly involved in 13 goals this A-League season, the joint most of any player in the competition.
Saturday, 2 February 2019
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne Victory
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:35pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvMVC & #CCMFC