The Mariners will be desperate to win at home after two losses on the trot, conceding eight goals, and taking the gloss off their good start to the season.
Things have fallen away dramatically at Bluetongue Stadium in the past two weeks and the players will be hoping they can put things right after being humiliated 5-1 by Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
The return of hard-nosed defender Pedj Bojic will be a boost as he brings some solidarity to the back four which has been opened right up by opposing attacks but Sydney FC will welcome Brazilian striker Bruno Cazarine back from injury and he will be hungry to get back on the scoresheet.
Korean defender Sung-hwan Byun is also a big in and the recent good form of the reigning champs suggests they will be up for this and should get a positive result.
Verdict: Sydney 2-1
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Draw: Saturday, 4 December 2010
Local kick-off: 7.00pm
Referee: Mathew Breeze
Head-to-head: All matches (played 17): Central Coast Mariners wins 4, Sydney FC wins 8 (5 draws)
Match fact: Having lost their past two home matches at Bluetongue Stadium, Central Coast Mariners will be aiming not to equal the club's record for longest losing streak at home (three).
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 2 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partners are 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford) and SBS 6 (Digital). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Central Coast Mariners squad: 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9. Nik MRDJA, 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, 24. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk) *four to be omitted*
In: Pedj BOJIC (returns from injury), Patricio PEREZ (returns from injury), Nik MRDJA (promoted), Matthew LEWIS (promoted), Bernie IBINI-ISEI (promoted)
Out: Daniel McBREEN (suspended – one match)
Unavailable: Daniel McBREEN (suspended – one match), Brad PORTER (knee – 8 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee – season)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 5. Hayden FOXE, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 16. Terry ANTONIS, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS *three to be omitted*
In: Bruno CAZARINE, Sung-Hwan BYUN
Unavailable: Nicky CARLE (Back – 3 Weeks)