Two teams with completely differing fortunes meet in a match that has little bearing on the final six.
The Glory have been held to three draws in their past three matches and are undefeated in four but face an uphill battle to bridge the gap on the likes of the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Heart who are above them in the race for the finals.
They were lucky to draw with Melbourne Heart on the weekend at nib Stadium as the visitors had a host of chances and if it wasn’t for goalkeeper Tando Velaphi they certainly would have lost but they get the chance to redeem themselves when the Mariners come to town.
However, Graham Arnold has his men sitting second on the table and going quietly about their business and making a habit of keeping clean sheets. One of them here would allow them to at least record another point but I feel they are playing well enough to grab a win on the road and continue their overall dominance of the Glory to move within seven points of league leaders Brisbane Roar.
Verdict: Mariners 1-0
Perth Glory vs. Central Coast Mariners
Date: Wednesday, 19 January 2010
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Local kick-off: 7:00pm (10.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Ryan Shepheard
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 17): Perth Glory wins 2, Central Coast Mariners wins 10 (5 draws)
Match fact: Having kept 11 clean sheets so far this season, Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Mathew Ryan is aiming to create a new Hyundai A-League record for most clean sheets in a season (12). The current record of 11 is jointly held by Ryan and Clint Bolton, who kept 11 clean sheets in the 2009/10 season with Sydney FC.
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 2, FS2 HD and Sky Sports 2 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partners are 6PR 882AM (Perth) and 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com.au.
Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Josh MITCHELL, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 9.Robbie FOWLER, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Tommy AMPHLETT, 14.Steven McGARRY, 15.Howard FONDYKE, 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 18.Brent GRIFFITHS, 20.Alex PEARSON (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 22.Anthony SKORICH, 24.Josh RISDON, 26. Adam TAGGERT *two to be omitted*
In: Josh RISDON (promoted), Brent GRIFFITHS (promoted)
Out: Branco JELIC (ankle – 1 week), Jamie COYNE (omitted)
Unavailable: Chris COYNE (achilles – season), Victor SIKORA (hip – season), Naum SEKULOVSKI (knee – 1 week), Jacob BURNS (suspended - 1 match)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 2. Daniel McBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11.Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Matthew LEWIS, 13. Michael BAIRD, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 21. Sam GALLAGHER, 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 30. Paul HENDERSON *four to be omitted*
In: Daniel McBREEN, Matthew LEWIS, Chris DOIG, Sam GALLAGHER, Mustafa AMINI (all promoted)
Out: Patrick ZWAANSWIJK (rested)
Unavailable: Brad PORTER (knee – 8 weeks), Nik MRDJA (knee – 8 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee - season)