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A-League preview - Round 24

Round 24 of A-League action kicks off tonight with a double header featuring Central Coast Mariners versus Gold Coast United and Perth Glory versus Wellington Phoenix.

All five matches this weekend could have a bearing on the top six depending on results as the race for the play-offs begins to heat up.

Firstly, the Mariners desperately need a win to move closer to the top six as they are currently four points out and have not saluted in their past seven outings. On the other hand, Gold Coast are looking for a top-two finish and will require at least a point to keep themselves in a good position to do so.

Central Coast's recent form suggests they may struggle against the league leaders but even a draw may help them out if sixth-placed Perth Glory lose and Brisbane Roar and North Queensland Fury draw in Townsville.

Central Coast Mariners (7th) v Gold Coast United (1st)Date: Friday 22 January 2010 Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Local Kick-Off: 8.00pm Referee: Chris Beath Head-to-Head: Played 2: Central Coast Mariners wins 1, Gold Coast United wins 1

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 3. To purchase tickets visit

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. Matthew CROWELL, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 9. Nik MRDJA, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (C), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 22. Nicky TRAVIS, 23. Adam KWASNIK In: Nicky TRAVIS (returns from illness) Out: Dean HEFFERNAN (back - 1 week) Unavailable: Ahmad ELRICH (ankle - 1 week), Shane HUKE (quad - 1 week)

Gold Coast United Squad: 1.Jess VANSTRATTAN [gk], 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 11.Charlie MILLER, 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 17.Matt OSMAN, 18.James BROWN, 20.Scott HIGGINS [gk], 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 24.ANDERSON, 36.Dino DJULBIC, *two to be omitted* In: Charlie MILLER (return from thigh injury), Matt OSMAN (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Adama TRAORE (ankle injury - 1 week), Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle injury - indefinite), ROBSON (knee injury - 1 week), JEFFERSON (knee injury - indefinite)

Also on Friday night, Perth Glory host Wellington Phoenix at Members Equity Bank Stadium.

The Glory are coming off a remarkable come-from-behind victory on Tuesday night where they scored three times in the final half-hour to overrun Adelaide United which put them four points clear in sixth place whilst the Phoenix have strung together three wins in a row to lie one place above tonight's opponents. Perth's home form should be good enough to get a win here but the Phoenix's impressive recent form could be good enough to at least produce a draw.

Perth Glory (6th) v Wellington Phoenix (5th) Friday 22 January 2010 Venue: ME Bank Stadium, Perth Local Kick-Off: 7:00pm (10.00pm AEDT) Referee: Ryan Shepheard Head-to-Head: Played 8: Perth Glory wins 2, Wellington Phoenix wins 4 (2 draws)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 3. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is 6PR (Perth) 882AM. To purchase tickets visit

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Danny McBreen, 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 6.Chris COYNE, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 11. Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Scott BULLOCH, 14. Steven McGARRY, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC, *two to be omitted* In: Jamie HARNWELL (returns from injury) Naum SEKULOVSKI (returns from injury) Out: Nil Unavailable: Wayne SRHOJ (Knee - 1 week), Viktor SIKORA (Thigh - 1 week)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. DIEGO, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Adrian CACERES, 15. Eugene DADI, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Costa BARBAROUSES, 40. Liam REDDY (gk), *two to be omitted* In: Chris GREENACRE (return from injury), Marco ROJAS (promoted), DANIEL (promoted) DIEGO (promoted) Out: Tony LOCHHEAD (groin - 2 weeks) Unavailable: Mark PASTON (gk) (leg - season)

Saturday sees old rivals Melbourne and Adelaide meet at Etihad Stadium. The Victory have won their past eight encounters against the Reds and I don't see anything changing, especially after Tuesday night's debacle where Adelaide gave up a two-goal, losing 3-2 to Perth - their season going down the drain.

The Victory will be buoyed by their 6-2 demolition of the Glory last weekend and should be too good in the 2008/09 Grand Final rematch.

Melbourne Victory (3rd) v Adelaide United (10th)Date: Saturday 23 January 2010 Venue: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Local Kick-Off: 7.00pm Referee: Matthew Breeze Head-to-Head: Played 20: Melbourne Victory wins 12, Adelaide United wins 5 (3 draws)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is 774 ABC (Melbourne) and 107.9 Life FM (Adelaide). To purchase tickets visit

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3.Mate DUGANDZIC, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13.Nathan ELASI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Matthew FOSCHINI, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 21.Robbie KRUSE, 22.Nick WARD, 23.Adrian LEIJER, 25.Aziz BEHICH, 26.Marvin ANGULO, *two to be omitted* In: Mate DUGANDZIC (promoted), Nathan ELASI (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Evan BERGER (hamstring, 1 week), Billy CELESKI (knee, season), Matthew KEMP (hamstring, 1 week), Steven PACE (abdomen, indefinite), Surat SUKHA (hamstring, 1 week)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3. ALEMAO, 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 9.CRISTIANO, 10.Adam HUGHES, 11.Lloyd OWUSU, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 15. Francesco MONTEROSSO, 16.Inseob SHIN, 17.Michael MARRONE, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Mark RUDAN, *two to be omitted* In: Robert CORNTHWAITE (promoted), Scott JAMIESON (promoted), ALEMAO (returns from injury), Francesco MONTEROSSO (promoted) Out: Lucas PANTELIS (suspended - 1 match), CASSIO (calf - 1 week) Unavailable: Paul REID (groin - 2 weeks), Joe COSTA (knee - long term injury list)

Also on Saturday, one of the Queensland derbies will take place as North Queensland host Brisbane in Townsville.

The Roar need a win to keep their finals aspirations alive after a disappointing home loss to Newcastle last week whilst the Fury had a loss of their own, in wet and windy conditions in Wellington.

In a contest that doesn't bare too much excitement, the Fury might be good enough at home but the Roar will be desperate to break their three-match losing streak.

North Queensland Fury (9th) v Brisbane Roar (8th)Date: Saturday 23 January 2010 Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Local Kick-Off: 8.00pm (9.00pm AEDT) Referee Gerard Parsons Head-to-Head: Played 2: North Queensland Fury wins 0, Brisbane Roar wins 1 (1 draw)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 1. To purchase tickets visit

North Queensland Fury squad: 1.Paul HENDERSON (GK), 2.Robbie MIDDLEBY, 3. Chris TADROSSE, 6. Ufuk TALAY, 7.Jason SPAGNUOLO, 9.Robbie FOWLER (c), 10.Jeremy BROCKIE, 11. David WILLIAMS, 13.Beau BUSCH, 14.Chris GROSSMAN, 16. Paul KOHLER, 19. James DOWNEY 20. Justin PASFIELD (GK), 23 Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 24 Dyron DAAL, 25 Grant SMITH, 26 Matt SMITH, 27 Terry COOKE, *three to be omitted* In: Robbie MIDDLEBY (back from illness), David WILLIAMS (back from injury) Beau BUSCH (promoted) Out: Fred AGIUS (demoted), Jack HINGERT (not selected), Osama MALIK (not selected), John TAMBOURAS (not selected) Unavailable: Jacob TIMPANO (hamstring 2 - 4 weeks), Scott WILSON (knee - indefinite), Shane STEFANUTTO (knee - indefinite), James ROBINSON (knee- indefinite), Karl DODD (knee - indefinite

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Matt HAM (gk), 2. Andrew PACKER, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Pieter COLLEN, 6. David DODD, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Steven BRYCE, 11. REINALDO, 14. Adam SAROTA, 15. Matt McKAY (c), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 20. Griffin McMASTER (gk), 21. Tommy OAR, 22. Ivan FRANJIC, *one to be omitted* In: Andrew PACKER (promoted), David DODD (returns from injury), Steven BRYCE (new signing), Griffin McMASTER (returns from injury) Out: Matt MUNDY (omitted), Isaka CERNAK (omitted) Unavailable: HENRIQUE (hamstring - 1-2 weeks), Josh McCLOUGHAN (hip flexor 1-2 weeks)

Finally, the in-form team of the A-League, the Newcastle Jets, host Sydney FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Branko Culina's side has won six of its past eight and climbed up the ladder into fourth spot whilst Sydney relinquished top spot by losing at home to Gold Coast.

I feel the Jets have enough going their way to record a victory but I think Culina would be fairly happy with just a point against a Sky Blues outfit who are chasing a top-two finish.

Newcastle Jets (4th) v Sydney FC (2nd)Date: Sunday 24 January 2010 Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Local Kick-Off: 5.00pm Referee: Peter Green Head-to-Head: Played 16: Newcastle Jets wins 3, Sydney FC wins 8 (5 draws)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 3, 3 HD and Sky Sport 3. To purchase tickets visit

Newcastle Jets Squad: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO, 3. Adam D'APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 9. Sasho PETROVSKI, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Michael BRIDGES, 15. Sean ROONEY, 22. Kaz PATAFTA, 25. Labinot HALITI, 26. Ali ABBAS, 30. Dion SHAW (gk), *two to be omitted* In: Labinot HALITI (promoted), Sasho PETROVSKI Out: Nil Unavailable: 13. Shaun ONTONG (Achilles - indefinite), 17. Fabio VIGNAROLI (knee - indefinite), 18. Marko JESIC (knee - indefinite), 20. Neil YOUNG (gk) (face - 2-3 weeks)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Clint BOLTON (gk), 3.Stephan KELLER, 4.Simon COLOSIMO, 6.Karol KISEL, 7.Brendan GAN, 8.Stuart MUSIALIK, 9.John ALOISI, 10.Steve CORICA (c), 12.Shannon COLE, 14.Alex BROSQUE, 15.Terry MCFLYNN, 16.Chris PAYNE, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 22.Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26 Hayden FOXE, *two to be omitted* In: Brendan GAN (promoted), Alex BROSQUE (returns from injury) Out: Nil Unavailable: Kofi DANNING (knee - season), Matthew JURMAN (foot - season), Sebastian RYALL (knee - 4 weeks)

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Andrew Slevison
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