The Mariners may be feeling fresher than they thought they would be for this one after Sunday’s clash with Gold Coast United was canceled after 19 minutes.
Graham Arnold’s men will be desperate to record all three points against the Fury so they can bridge the gap on third-placed Gold Coast and push further ahead of fifth-placed Melbourne Victory.
With one win in their last six, the Mariners need a confidence-booster to kick off the Christmas period but things will not easy against a plucky Fury outfit.
Franz Straka’s North Queensland side are just one point off the bottom of the table with three losses in their past four but their performance against the league-leading Brisbane Roar on Saturday night was positive despite losing 2-0.
The return of striker Dyron Daal and defender Andre Kilian into the squad is a plus and at their best the Fury could really trouble the Mariners but I feel that it is too big an opportunity for the home side to pass up and they should record a win.
Verdict: Mariners 1-0
Central Coast Mariners vs. North Queensland Fury
Date: Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Local kick-off: 7:30pm
Referee: Ryan Shepheard
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 5): Central Coast Mariners wins 3, North Queensland Fury wins 0 (2 draws)
Match fact: Central Coast Mariners have scored 98 Hyundai A-League goals at Bluetongue Stadium and therefore will reach a century of Hyundai A-League goals at their home venue should they score two against North Queensland.
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partners are 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford) and Zinc 100.7 FM (Townsville). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
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, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk) *two to be omitted*
In: Matthew LEWIS (promoted), John HUTCHINSON (returns from injury)
Unavailable: Brad PORTER (knee – 8 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee – season)
North Queensland Fury squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 3. Brad McDONALD, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 7. Gareth EDDS, 9. Eugene SSEPPUYA, 10. Dyron DAAL, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS, 13. Andre KILIAN, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 15. Chris PAYNE, 16. Simon STOREY, 18. Brett STUDMAN, 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO, 24. Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLU, 28. Sebastian USAI (gk) *two to be omitted*
In: Dyron DAAL (promoted), Andre KILIAN (promoted)
Unavailable: Jack HINGERT (ankle – 2 weeks), Eric AKOTO (knee – 1 weeks), Adam CASEY (ankle – 1 weeks), Osama MALIK (hamstring – awaiting MRI scan result), Isaka CERNAK (knee – 2 weeks), Matthew HAM (knee – out for the season)