North Queensland Fury v Central Coast Mariners preview

Ninth takes on third in the opening Week 13 match of the 2010/11 A-League season tomorrow night.

Ninth takes on third in the opening Week 13 match of the 2010/11 A-League season tomorrow night.

North Queensland Fury are at home for the second week in a row following their 2-1 loss to Gold Coast United last week but they take on a side in arguably better form in the Central Coast Mariners.

Graham Arnold’s men brushed aside the Perth Glory 5-0 at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday night, allowing them to go third on the table, eight points behind league leaders Brisbane Roar but with three games in hand.

With their current formation fairly settled, the Mariners can go into this game at ease while the Fury will be without key defender Eric Akoto who is expected to spend about six weeks in the sidelines with a knee injury.

If this was in Gosford, I would be tipping the Mariners comfortably but the Fury’s home ground advantage brings them back into the game. However, the visitors may have enough class to salute and break a winless run away from home.

Verdict: Mariners 2-1

North Queensland Fury v Central Coast Mariners
Date: Friday, 5 November 2010
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
Local kick-off: 7.30pm local (8.30pm AEDT)
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 4): North Queensland Fury wins 0, Central Coast Mariners wins 2 (2 draws)
Special note: Central Coast Mariners have not won any of their previous four away matches, and will record their second five-match winless away streak in less than 12 months if they lose to the Fury this weekend.
Referee: Gerard Parsons

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 & Sky Sports 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is Zinc 100.7 (Townsville) and 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au

North Queensland Fury squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2. Jack HINGERT, 3. Brad McDONALD, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 7. Gareth EDDS, 8. Adam CASEY, 9. Eugene SSEPPUYA, 10. Dyron DAAL, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS, 13. Andre KILIAN, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 15. Chris PAYNE, 16. Simon STOREY, 17. Osama MALIK, 18. Brett STUDMAN, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO, 28. Sebastian USAI (gk) *five to be omitted*
In: Adam CASEY (promoted), Panagiotis NIKAS (promoted), Brett Studman (promoted), Isaka CERNAK (returns from injury), Jason SPAGNUOLO (promoted)
Out: Eric Akoto (knee – 6 weeks)
Unavailable: Matthew HAM (knee – out for the season)

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: John HUTCHINSON (returns from suspension)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Nik MRDJA (back – indefinite), Brad PORTER (knee – 12 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee – season)