Sky Blues set for reunion at the three-sided house

After last week’s derby at their "mansion" Sydney FC will make the trip north to our “three sided house”. Saturday’s match-up between Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners will be a chance for a number of Sky Blue personnel to get back to their roots at Central Coast Stadium against the Mariners.

Sydney FC are expected to make the trip north with no less than five former Mariners faces in Zac Anderson, Matt Simon as well as Graham Arnold, John Crawley and Andrew Clark.

The Mariners influence over Sydney FC adds extra spice to what was already a fierce rivalry and ensures the city slickers will suffer no away ground unfamiliarity.  

With Sydney FC’s mansion built in the heart of the city, we think Sydney FC and their large contingent of travelling fans will enjoy the chance for a bit of fresh air and unmatched water views at our idyllic bayside arena.

However, the Mariners will be looking to ensure that this is as far as their enjoyment goes, with the match shaping up tactically as a battle between the attacking Central Coast and the structured Sydney.

On Halloween, the Mariners will be looking to provide their fans with the odd trick down the wing as well as a bag of treats in the form of goals.

The Run In

In an end-to-end encounter last weekend at AAMI Park, the Mariners went down 3-1 to Melbourne City, with Nick Fitzgerald scoring one of the goals of the season for the Yellow and Navy.

On the other side of the spectrum, Sydney FC’s derby win over the Wanderers last weekend came through a rock solid defensive display that held Western Sydney at bay, before Milos Ninkovic netted a late winner.  

All up, Sydney FC have two wins and a draw to their name in 2015/16, while the Mariners have a win and two losses.

Scouting Report

With the Mariners set to again put on an attacking show, Sydney FC left back Matthew Jurman will be one to watch.

Jurman currently leads the league in interceptions with 25 and made 13 alone last week against the Wanderers.

This week Jurman will have the task of taming the menacing Mariners' attack, which will surely be a treat for the fans this Halloween.

The Key Questions

  • Will Sydney FC’s defensive approach hold up against a barrage of Mariners’ attacks?
  • Will Filip Holosko be able to live up to his billing as a Sydney FC marquee?
  • Will the Mariners be able to convert their chances?

Stats

  • Sydney FC haven’t scored more than one goal in a match this season and none in the first half
  • Sitting first and third in the league for SHOTS are Fabio Ferreira (13) and Roy O’Donovan (11), the Mariners lead the league in total shots with 57
  • In the crossing stakes, Fabio sits second having made 24, while Mitch Austin is just behind in third with 23 crosses to his name.

INsider View

Tony Walmsley:

 “We did some tactical work to address some of the things we need to work on defensively and the engagement was great.

“It’s quite a complex thing that we’re asking them to do, to be as bold as we are and still remain tight in defence so the exciting thing is we’ve had 57 attempts on goal in the three games, which far outweighs what anybody else is doing.

“We’re looking for evolution of this. 57 shots on goal is great, can we convert more of them? Of course we can. Tighten up in transition? Of course we can.

“Everybody’s place is up for grabs every week and if we think against Sydney FC a certain blend will help us take a step forward then there will be changes.

“I know against their backline, we’ve got some weapons that can hurt them with movement, forward runs, forward passes and the way that they attack, the structure of their approach will leave them vulnerable to what we can throw at them.

“I’m enjoying the ride, we play entertaining football, I’m entertained, I don’t know if it’s good for my health but its good for my mind without a doubt.

Graham Arnold

“I’ve got nothing but respect for Central Coast Mariners and their fans,” he said.

“They’re beautiful people and I had a great time up there so there will be nothing but respect from me today for them.

“They’re exciting, great, love watching them play it’s a beautiful proactive style of play and I’m enjoying it immensely.

“It’s important that we stay balanced behind the ball [on Saturday],” he continued.

“When we go forward, we’ve seen that the Mariners wingers don’t defend, they cheat on halfway so we’ve got to make sure we’ve got a plan behind the ball.”

Match details
Saturday 31 October 2015

Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:15pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #CCMvSYD & #CCMFC