Following last weekend’s 1-all draw against Wellington Phoenix on Friday night, the Mariners are back in action today in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s competition against Western Sydney Wanderers at CommBank Stadium.
Heading into the weekend in second place, a win for Adelaide on Friday night pushed the Mariners down to third. Sitting on equal points with Western Sydney a win today is vital if we want to push back into second.
The Central Coast Mariners have been forced into making two changes to our side, as a result of two-week suspensions handed to both Brian Kaltak and Moresche off the back of last weekend.
Sasha Kuzevski comes into the squad for Kaltak, with the versatile defender having already played six matches this season. His last appearance was against the Wanderers in round fourteen.
Nicholas Duarte makes his first A-League Men’s squad, coming in for Moresche. The striker has been a mainstay so far this season in our NPL men’s first grade side, impressing head coach Nick Montgomery.
Western Sydney on the other hand will see two players return from suspension, both making it straight back into their matchday squads.
Adama Traore and Yeni Ngbakoto coming into the squad, replacing Nathaneal Blair and Zac Sapsford.
The home side are without four of their youngsters on national team duty, while the Mariners continue to be without Nectar Triantis.
The Central Coast Mariners have had an unlucky run of late, narrowly missing out on deserved points over the past few weeks.
A one goal defeat at the hands of Sydney FC, as well as a 2-all draw against Perth could have easily swung the way of the Mariners.
A 2-1 win over Brisbane in round 16 saw us collect the three points, with a heartbreaking last-minute equaliser from Wellington last Friday night denying the Mariners victory.
Western Sydney is coming into the match off a strong 4-0 win over Macarthur, comfortably accounting for their Sydney rival’s last weekend.
The side secured a 4-all draw against Adelaide the round before after a last-minute equaliser, falling to Sydney FC 1-0 in round 16.
Both sides head into the match on 28 competition points after 18 matches, with the Mariners leading the pair on goal difference.
It has been a fierce rivalry between the Mariners and Wanderers over the years, the most famous match being our 2-0 grand final win 10 years ago.
Of the four games played at CommBank Stadium since our first match at the ground in 2019, the Wanderers have only come out on top in one.
That was the inaugural game between the two sides at the stadium, with the Mariners holding a three-game undefeated run at CommBank since then.
This season the two sides have faced off twice, the first a dominant 3-0 win in Western Sydney for the Mariners back in round five.
The Wanderers travelled to Our Paradise in round 14, coming away with a point in one of the matches of the season.
Central Coast having a chance late to secure another three points against Western Sydney, only for the crossbar to deny Christian Theoharous what would have been his first goal for the club.
Western Sydney Wanderers
1.Daniel MARGUSH (GK), 2.Gabriel CLEUR, 3.Adama TRAORE, 4.Morgan SCHNEIDERLIN, 5.Tomi MRCELA, 6.Marcelo (C), 8.Oliver BOZANIC, 9.Kusini YENGI, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Amor LAYOUNI, 14.Nicolas MILANOVIC, 16.Tom BEADLING, 17.Romain AMALFITANO, 19.Daniel WILMERING, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21.Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 23. Yeni NGBAKOTO, 26.Brandon BORRELLO, 28.Calem NIEUWENHOF, 33.Alex BONETIG
Ins: 3.Adama TRAORE (returns from suspension), 23.Yeni NGBAKOTO (returns from suspension).
Outs: 32.Nathaneal Blair (not selected), 35.Zac SAPSFORD (not selected)
Unavailable: 30.Jack WARSHAWSKY (national team duty), 31.Aidan SIMMONS (national team duty), 36.Alessandro LOPANE (national team duty), 37.Alex BADOLATO (national team duty).
Central Coast Mariners
4. Joshua NISBET, 5. James MCGARRY, 6. Maximilien BALARD, 7 Samuel SILVERA, 9. Jason CUMMINGS, 11. Beni NKOLOLO, 13. Harry STEELE, 14. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 15. Storm ROUX, 18. Jacob FARRELL, 20 Danny VUKOVIC ©, 22. Cameron WINDUST, 23. Daniel HALL, 24. Yaren SOZER, 27. Sasha KUZEVSKI, 28. James BAYLISS, 31. Christian THEOHAROUS, 36. Maksim KASALOVIC, 41. Nicholas DUARTE 98. Marco TULIO
Ins: 27. Sasha KUZEVSKI, 41. Nicholas DUARTE
Outs: 3. Brian KALTAK (suspension), 10. Moresche (suspension)
Unavailable: 25. Nectarios Triantis (international duty), 26. Bradley TAPP (injured)
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Central Coast Mariners
Saturday, March 4th
Kick-off: 5:00pm AEDT
CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+