Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City face off this Sunday at Central Coast Stadium as Isuzu UTE A-League football finally returns to Gosford after a lengthy break due to COVID-19 postponements.
The Yellow and Navy are coming off a 1-0 win in the FFA Cup Semi-Final after Marco Ureña netted a penalty late on to send Central Coast to a first ever FFA Cup Final.
The Mariners and City are yet to meet this season, but the clash between the two is shaping to be an extremely important game for Nick Montgomery’s squad as City currently sit one point above the Mariners having played two games more.
The Central Coast Mariners have won 54% of their duels contested in the 2021/22 Isuzu UTE A-League Men season, the second-best rate of any team in the competition and three percentage points higher than Melbourne City FC (51%).
Melbourne City come into the match following three consecutive draws against Melbourne Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United.
The hosts have have won their last two Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s matches, keeping a clean sheet on each occasion and the last time they kept three consecutive clean sheets was a three-match span from December 2011 to January 2012.
Speaking to the media, Nick Montgomery praised the defensive efforts of the whole team rather than singling out individuals.
“We defend with eleven players. Mark Birighitti has been superb, but we defend from the front. For me it’s not about the back four, it always about the team, not an individual.
“We don’t look at the league table, we look at the next game. For me it’s about focusing on us, and not worrying about other people. If we can continue to play well and consistently, then I have no doubts that we can win more games of football.”
Defender Kye Rowles was called up to the Socceroos this week and admitted that the decision hasn’t sunk in yet but he is focussed on the task at hand this weekend.
“It’s been super weird and I can’t really wrap my head around it. The boys have sent a lot of messages of support and I can’t wait to get into the camp and learn so much.
“I am focussed on tomorrow’s match and we all know that if we play the way we want to play we should be able to put on a good performance and make the fans happy. That’s what we want to do, make everyone as proud as possible, get the points and keep moving forward.”
Montgomery and his team will be bolstered by the fact they have won three home games in a row and if they make that a fourth on Sunday will see a feat not seen since March-October 2014.
The match between Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City kicks off at 4:05pm on Sunday 23rd January at Central Coast Stadium and will be followed by the Liberty A-League Women’s match between Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City FC
Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s MW22
Sunday 23rd January 2022
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford NSW
Gates Open: 3pm
Kick Off: 4:05pm