Last weekend the Mariners faced Western United away from home and produced a brilliant 2-2 draw in Ballarat.
Jason Cummings netted twice in Ballarat and had an opportunity in the 90th minute to win the game for the Yellow and Navy but his effort was unfortunately saved by Jamie Young. Despite the fact that the Mariners had the chance to win the game at the death, they will be happy with the performance against a top team but now turn their attentions to face Wellington Phoenix at home tomorrow.
The Phoenix currently occupy one place above the Yellow and Navy but are coming off a heavy 6-0 defeat at the hands of Melbourne City and Nick Montgomery’s side will be eager to pick up three points to close the gap on the sides above them.
Despite the fact that the Phoenix have hit a slump of form recently, the Mariners have not defeated the New Zealand based side at home since 2018.
Speaking to media prior to the match, Nick Montgomery was confident with the squad that he has at his disposal.
“Most week’s we’ve had quite a few missing and that’s no different as we’ve had boys that have been sick, boys that have been fatigued, boys with niggles but those that have come in have done really well.
“We’ve got a few games coming up at home and we’re going to need every member of the squad to achieve some good results.”
So, who are the key players to keep an eye on?
Jason Cummings. (Central Coast Mariners)
The 26-year-old, former Rangers striker is now finding his feet in Australia.
Moving from Scotland in January, netting on his debut and hitting two past Western United this past weekend and all while having over six assists to teammates, the Socceroo-eligible striker is in red-hot form leading into the clash against the Phoenix.
Even if the Phoenix are able to keep the Scotsman quiet, his style of play will still cause headaches for Ufuk Talay’s side as his hold-up play and ability to find teammates is second to none.
Cummings has six assists so far this campaign, three big chances created for teammates and averages just under two key passes per game while having over 80% of his passes accurate per game.
Ben Waine (Wellington Phoenix)
After bursting onto the scene as a young 16-year-old four years ago, the now 20-year-old Waine has hit an impressive run of form so far this season.
The young Kiwi striker has four goals in 16 games for the Phoenix but has missed three key chances so far this season.
Despite the four goals scored, Waine does only hold a shots to goals ratio of 17% while having a successful dribble rate of 38%.
The action kicks off from 7:05pm at Central Coast Stadium as both teams look to climb the table hunting a final’s position.
Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix
Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s MW6
Tuesday 5th April 2022
Central Coast Stadium, Central Coast, NSW
7:05pm AEST Kick Off
6:00pm Gates Open
Broadcast Live on Paramount+