Third takes on fourth in the A-League Match of the Round for Week 15.
Central Coast have surprised many by taking 25 points from 13 matches and have been much more active in the forward third this term with 20 goals.
Graham Arnold has his men playing a much better brand than the club has done in the past although there is still that blue collar element that allows the Mariners to grind out results when they do not appear to be playing all that well.
Last night’s 2-2 draw with the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park is a perfect example of that as the Mariners came to town, did their bit, and went away with a pint when arguably they should have got nothing. It shows how much steel there is in the squad which makes up for their lack of natural ability and flair, which Arnold has admitted on several occasions.
This Sunday, they are finally back at Bluetongue Stadium for the first time since October 2 after a tough six weeks on the road but they have to take on the in-form Gold Coast United who brushed aside Sydney FC 3-1 last Friday night.
Miron Bleiberg’s men have the best defence in the league and have again and again been hard to break down. Although they find it hard to score, United are sitting comfortably in fourth position and are only four points off second with two games in hand.
This is a match they are capable of winning but with Michael Thwaite out and the fact Central Coast are back in front of their starved home fans suggests it may be a much tougher test than they expect.
Verdict: 1-1 draw
Central Coast Mariners vs. Gold Coast United
Date: Sunday, 21 November 2010
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Local kick-off: 5:00pm
Referee: Matthew Gillett
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 4): Central Coast Mariners wins 1, Gold Coast United wins 1 (2 draws)
Match fact: Central Coast Mariners are playing their first match at Bluetongue Stadium in their past six whilst Gold Coast United’s Michael Thwaite will miss his first A-League game since joining the club at the start of last season. He had played 40 consecutive matches.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 2 Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Matthew LEWIS, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk) *three to be omitted*
In: Trent SAINSBURY (promoted), John HUTCHINSON (return from international duty)
Unavailable: Brad PORTER (knee – 10 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee – season)
Gold Coast United squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 5.ROBSON, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.ANDERSON, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 18.James BROWN, 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk).22.Adama TRAORE, 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 24.John CURTIS, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 27.Chris HAROLD *three to be omitted*
In: Kristian REES (promoted), Steve FITZSIMMONS (promoted), John CURTIS (promoted), Chris HAROLD (promoted)
Unavailable: Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle injury – indefinite), Matt OSMAN (knee injury – indefinite), Bruce DJITE (hamstring – 1 week)