The Central Coast Mariners are back on the road today as we travel to Mars Stadium in Ballarat to take on Western United.
Fresh off the back of a brilliant 4-1 win over Brisbane Roar last weekend, the Mariners are aiming to continue the momentum as we look to solidify a top four place on the competition ladder.
Western United are instead looking to climb up the ladder into the finals positions, currently sitting in ninth place with just four matches remaining of the regular season.
Central Coast Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery has named an unchanged squad from last weekend’s match, with all players fit and available.
Last week marked the return of Jacob Farrell, Beni Nkololo and the debut of Dylan Wenzel-Halls, with all three ready to go again today.
Josh Risdon returns for Western United after serving a one match suspension last weekend, expected to come straight back into the side.
Matthew Grimaldi has been included in his first extended squad of the season, while Ramy Najjarine will miss the match due to a groin injury.
The Central Coast Mariners were back to their best last weekend, firing their way to a 4-1 victory over Brisbane Roar.
Three goals in the first half hour, including a first of the season for Josh Nisbet, pushed the Mariners into what turned out to be a match winning lead.
A controlled and dominant second half saw the full time score end 4-1, with a Jason Cummings penalty sealing the result.
Two 4-1 wins have been split by a tough day out in Melbourne a few weeks ago, as the side look to continue their goalscoring ways. The Mariners have won two of our last five, as well as one draw.
The Central Coast currently sit in third place on the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s ladder, equal on points with Western Sydney in fourth.
Western United have had a sharp turnaround in form over the past six weeks, winning three of their five matches. These victories all came in a row, defeating Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory.
A tight 1-0 loss just before the international break stifled their momentum, with an 89th minute equaliser from Robert Mak denying them the three points against Sydney FC last weekend.
Chasing a finals spot after a slow start to the season, the side sit ninth on the ladder with four games remaining. They do however only have two less points then sixth place Sydney FC and would have jumped into the top six if they secured the win last weekend.
The Central Coast Mariners travel to Ballarat on the back of a four-game undefeated streak against Western United, having not lost to the side in almost two years.
These include three victories, the best being our incredible comeback at home earlier this season. After trailing 2-0 in the first half hour the Mariners turned it around in the second half to secure the three points.
A 67th minute goal from Jason Cummings got the scoring underway, with the Mariners ultimately winning 4-2.
Overall, the Mariners have won five of the nine matches between the two sides, however interestingly enough no team has defeated the other away from home.
The Mariners almost changed this last season, unluckily missing a penalty in the dying moments of the match as it ended 2-all. The Central Coast head to Ballarat confident that this record can be altered.
1. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 4. Leo LACROIX, 5. Dylan PIERIAS, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 7. Tongo DOUMBIA, 8. Lachie WALES, 9. Michael RUHS, 10. Steven LUSTICA, 11. Connor PAIN, 17. Ben GARUCCIO, 19. Josh RISDON, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 23. Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 27. Jacob TRATT, 31. Adisu BAYEW, 37. Ryan SCOTT (gk) 38. Noah BOTIC, 39. Matthew GRIMALDI, 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 99. Aleksandar PRIJOVIC
Central Coast Mariners
3. Brian KALTAK, 4. Joshua NISBET, 5. James MCGARRY, 6. Maximilien BALARD, 7. Samuel SILVERA, 9. Jason CUMMINGS, 10. Matheus MORESCHE, 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, 25. Nectarios TRIANTIS, 28. James BAYLISS, 31. Christian THEOHAROUS, 98. Marco Tulio
Western United vs Central Coast Mariners
Friday, April 7th
Kick-off: 3pm AEDT
Mars Stadium, Ballarat
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+