The Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United will face off on Saturday afternoon in what is a must win for both sides.
With four matches remaining, the Mariners are hoping to make a late charge into the top six whilst Adelaide United are desperate to avoid the wooden spoon.
Adelaide are coming off just their fourth victory of the season, a 2-1 home win over Brisbane Roar with the winner coming deep into added time via the penalty spot.
The Mariners had last weekend off due to the split round which has allowed Paul Okon to increase his side’s training load in preparation for their match against Adelaide.
With two 2-1 wins already recorded over ‘The Reds’ this season, the Mariners will be aiming to make it three from three against the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions.
Paolo in the Press
“Our focus has always been on what we can do and how we want to play so this week that’s what we’ve focused on,” Okon said. “We’ve had a little bit of bad weather, we’ve been training on a heavy field but we are confident that we are going to be able to deliver a performance that’s going to get us points.
“We’ve beaten them twice this season so for us it’s about producing more of the same and we’ve improved since then so hopefully we see that during the game.
“We’ve got four games to go, four more important points, 12 points at stake. The first game is against Adelaide and we’re back at home so there’s no reason for us to go into that game with anything but confidence.
[speaking about our last game against Sydney] “They’re two different games, obviously Sydney are at the top so our approach was different to the way we’re approaching Saturday’s game so we may make some changes. The break has given everyone the opportunity to freshen up, we have nearly everyone fit so everyone is putting their hand up to start and that’s how we want it.
“All the goalkeepers are working hard, Paul has done well this season – he was a bit unlucky to get that red card against Melbourne City. In saying that, Ivan has pushed him in every training session and it’s not too often that when you’re the losing team away from Sydney that you have a player who wins man of the match, Ivan was great. We were really delighted for him, especially with Sydney being his old club so it’s a very good headache to have. Three very good goalkeepers pushing each other. Either way there’s going to be a disappointed goalkeeper and a happy goalkeeper and that’s football.
“Our players turn up every session motivated to train and especially for games and at this time of the year everyone’s motivation can be different. Players playing for their futures, players who have a contract for next season that want to show that they’re a first 11 player, a spot in the finals. We’ve got enough games, four doesn’t sound like a lot but there’s enough there for everyone to show that they want to be a player for the Mariners and hopefully we will see that against Adelaide.
“A win will mean our sixth win of the season, we hope to get to that 26 point mark where we double the points tally of last season and it still keeps us in the race for that sixth spot because in football you just never know. There is plenty to play for and we are confident that if we can perform the way we have against Adelaide, at home it should see us get those three points and help climb the ladder,” Okon said.
- Central Coast Mariners have won their last two games against the Reds, and have scored exactly two goals in each of their last four matches against Adelaide.
- Adelaide United have won on two of their last three trips to Central Coast Stadium, having previously failed to win there since January 2009.
- Central Coast Mariners have scored exactly two goals in five of their last six games at home; only against Melbourne Victory, who kept them scoreless, did they not score twice.
- Adelaide United haven’t won in New South Wales since Round 26, 2015/16 when they beat Sydney FC 2-0.
- Central Coast Mariners goalkeepers have been required to make 103 saves so far this season, by far the most of any team in the competition.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 19.Jacques FATY (promoted), 20.Paul IZZO (gk) (returns from suspension), 21.Michael NEILL (promoted)
Outs: 30.Adam PEARCE (gk) (omitted)
Unavailable: 6.Blake POWELL (knee – 1 week), 10.Mickael TAVARES (ankle – indefinite), 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 7.Jae-sung KIM, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Baba DIAWARA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 13.Marc MARINO, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 30.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 92.Eli BABALJ
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 8.ISAIAS (returns from injury), 13.Marc MARINO (promoted), 14.George MELLS (promoted), 15.Ben WARLAND (promoted), 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS (promoted)
Outs: 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (suspended – 1 match), 18.Riley McGREE (international duty), 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY (ankle – indefinite)
Unavailable: 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA (hip – 3 weeks), 22.Ryan KITTO (hamstring – assess), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
Saturday 25 March 2017
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. North Shore Mariners
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 24
Central Coast Mariners vs Adelaide United
Official hash-tags: #CCMvADL #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM