Saturday, 22 August 2009
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Local kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: Strebre Delovski
NSW bitter rivals Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC face each other again in what should be another epic contest between two teams who don’t like each other much.
The picturesque ground in Gosford has been the setting for some stunning action in the past. The last three games there have seen a total of 17 goals and three red cards.
The Mariners have shanked their way to a win and draw in their first two games. Expect the pressuring game of the Mariners to limit Sydney FC’s space all over the park. Mat Simon will be a threat up front and be sure to take cover if the Mariners midfielder Pedj Bojic lines up a free kick.
Fisherman Quotes: 'If you're looking for a difference between Sydney last season and this season, it's that they play more balls over the top,'' Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna said in a Sydney Morning Herald article this week .
''People always talk about us playing long ball, but if you look at last weekend [when the Mariners drew against Newcastle Jets], the ball was black and blue. Sydney knock it long from the back and they do it well.
''They're very disciplined, they're regimented and probably the improvement from last season is that they're quicker to get players forward. They contest possession and feed off the scraps. They're good at getting to the second ball ”added the Scotsman.
Fishermen to watch: Former Celtic player Michael McGlinchey got called up to the New Zealand squad for the All Whites next friendly so with that the attacking midfielder should be buzzing. Tall and lanky Striker Mat Simon will bustle and hustle his way into the box. Mariners pantomime villain John Hutchinson will try and patrol the middle of the park with tough challenges and the odd through ball.
Sydney FC has two wins in two games played so far. A much better defensive display against the Reds last week has given the side a more balanced look. The attack looked menacing at times with Kofi Danning, John Aloisi Alex Brosque continuing on their good form from the first game against the Fury. Sydney’s three imports Karol Kisel, Stephen Keller and Sung Hwan Byun are slowly finding their feet; Swiss import Keller especially looks an imposing figure in the middle of defence.
Bling Quotes: “They’re always big games,” said Sydney FC forward, Alex Brosque. “They (Central Coast) are our closest rivals. Every game the past couple years has ended up with a lot of goals, a lot of cards, a lot of action. This year probably won’t be any different.
“Leading up to the game we’ll point out (to the younger players) that these games are a little bit different.
“Everyone has to step up and be a little bit more focused to make sure they’re ready to go" added the Sydney attacker.
Bling Players to watch: Kofi Danning got the go-head from FIFA this week to represent Australia at the under-20 World Cup that will take place in October in Egypt.
“It means everything to me, it’s my dream to play for Australia,” said Danning. “I’ve been here most of my life and I’ve just been waiting for the all clear. I’m as happy as I’ve ever been in my life.
“This is a big milestone for me. I’ve always wanted to represent Australia so to get the all clear to play for my country means the world to me” added the Sydney fan favourite.
Key Battles: Mat Simon vs Stephen Keller. John Hutchinson vs the Cove and Kofi Danning vs Dean Heffernan will be entertaining tussles.
A Football Story Prediction: Sydney FC to win 2-1 in a close and entertaining game.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. David D'APUZZO, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Dean HEFFERNAN, 9. Nik MRDJA, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21. Ahmad ELRICH, 22. Nicky TRAVIS, 23. Adam KWASNIK
*two to be omitted*
In: Andrew Clark, David D'Apuzzo (promoted)
Unavailable: Chris Doig (Calf, 1 week), Shane Huke (Knee, 4-5 weeks)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 5. Mitchell PRENTICE, 6. Karol KISEL, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. John ALOISI, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 17. Matthew JURMAN, 19. Mark BRIDGE , 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 22. Sung Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT.
*three to be omitted*
In: 5. Mitchell PRENTICE (promoted), 8. Stuart MUSIALIK (promoted), 23. Rhyan GRANT (promoted)
Unavailable: 2. Sebastian RYALL (suspended – 2 weeks)
*Head-to-Head: Played 13; Central Coast Mariners FC 4, Sydney FC 6, Drawn 3
Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 3. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is Coast FM 96.3 (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au