Sunday's key clashes!

CENTRAL Coast Mariners 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season preparations will be put to the test as they take on Melbourne Victory at Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga this Sunday.

One key clash - Hutchinson vs. Flores

CENTRAL Coast Mariners 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season preparations will be put to the test as they take on Melbourne Victory at Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga this Sunday.

The friendly will be just the Mariners second match against a Hyundai A-League side this pre-season, following their mid-week clash with Adelaide United in the City of Churches.

With less than a month left until kick-off in season eight, the Mariners are eager to discover what the Victory-s new coach Ange Postecoglou has taken south from his former club, Brisbane Roar, as well as how Melbourne-s new recruits shape up.

There are some key match ups that will be crucial for the Mariners on Sunday and throughout this season. Here-s a look at a few potentially pivotal clashes.

John Hutchinson vs. Marcos Flores

Flores is a crafty Argentinean attacking midfielder who proved his danger in the Hyundai A-League for Adelaide United in the 2010/11 season. He was one of Adelaide-s top goal scorers, finding his name in several goal of the week features. Behind Sydney FC-s Alessandro Del Piero, he is arguably the signing heading into the new season.

But if any man can keep him out of the match, it-s our own midfield stalwart John Hutchinson. Hutchinson-s midfield role goes beyond a traditional man-marking concept, as he looks to join in a commence attacks. Nevertheless, Hutch-s ability to intercept possession and keep Flores contained will be what makes this individual clash so interesting on Sunday.

Mitchell Duke vs. Mark Milligan

Mark Milligan is an experienced defender who has played in Europe and Asia, travelled to two FIFA World Cups, and marshaled the backline and midfields of Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets in the A-League. He is another Melbourne-s big recruits will be looked upon to contain the likes of Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney) and Thomas Broich (Brisbane) this season. But Milligan may find the red hot Mitchell Duke of Central Coast just as challenging.

Duke has already netted four times this pre season with doubles against the New Caledonian National Team and Central Coast Football Select. He will look to continue his goal-scoring streak by blitzing the likes of Milligan with his pace. Duke is competing fiercely for a spot in the first team for the Mariners and this will be a great test for his attacking flare against a renowned defender.

Graham Arnold vs. Ange Postecoglou

Arguably one of the biggest rivalries in recent Hyundai A-League history, it is only fitting that the two masters of the A-League face off in a pre-season clash. Without knowing Melbourne-s new style of play it will be interesting to see if the only change to Postecoglou-s style is his personnel.

Arnold stole the Premiers Plate from Postecoglou last season and broke the Suncorp hoodoo with a 2-0 win last December. Postecoglou replied by guiding his team past the Mariners in the Hyundai A-League Major Semi Final bout.

At Knox, it-s on again! Indeed, this clash will give fans and everyone involved a taste of what-s to come between the battle of two great tacticians in Hyundai A-League season eight.

Sunday 16 September vs. Melbourne Victory Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga Kick-off: 3pm (local) Tickets: Adults $10; kids under 5 FREE! Tickets will be available at the gate or you can pre-purchase online by CLICKING HERE. Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hashtag is #CCMvMV