The Mariners are headed to the Apple Isle for an A-League game for the first time since 2013, as Alen Stajcic and his side get set to meet Western United for the second time this season.
In their previous meeting, the Mariners twice rallied back from a goal down to secure a 3-2 win at Central Coast Stadium, with Matt Simon on the scoresheet and Alou Kuol grabbing a brace off the bench.
Now, the Mariners come into the game on top of the A-League table still, with the chasing pack becoming more and more compressed as the season goes on.
Western United sit in eighth spot, 10 points behind but still with two games in hand, and this match will be the first of two that they play in Tasmania over the coming week.
On Friday Staj said he was looking forward to the contest after a 10-day break, and with a long way still to go in the season.
“Yeah look [we are] excited,” he said.
“Playing against one of the top teams in the A-League, they have a lot of catch up games under their sleeve but just coming up against people the likes of Berisha and Diamanti its just really exciting.”
“It’s a good feeling [to be top] but we’re still only two thirds of the way through and we’ve done a lot of hard work to get this point.”
“And we just want to finish the job off now and want to make sure we do everything right to have the consistency throughout the rest of the year.”
Mark Birighitti echoed the boss’ sentiments, but said there is a good amount of confidence in the group ahead of the match.
We are pretty confident, obviously we’ve had a bit of time off now, we’ve had a week and a half since our last game,” Birighitti said.
“So the boys are refreshed, raring to go so we are looking to continue this run. Going to Tassie it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be a tough game.”
“Western United are a great side with a lot of quality so we are going to have to be on our toes so that we come away with all three points.”
Western United FC squad: 1.Filip KURTO (GK), 2.Aaron CALVER, 3.Brendan HAMILL, 4 Andrew DURANTE, 5.Dylan PIERIAS, 6.Tomoki IMAI, 7.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kaine SHEPPARD, 10.Steven LUSTICA, 11.Connor PAIN, 17.Bradden INMAN, 20.Víctor SÁNCHEZ, 21.Sebastian PASQUALI, 22.Tomislav USKOK 23.Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 25.Luke DUZEL, 26.Nicolas MILANOVIC, 27. Jerry SKOTADIS (promoted), 30.Ryan SCOTT (GK), 34.Iker GUARROTXENA
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 23.Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 26.Nicolas MILANOVIC (promoted), 27. Jerry SKOTADIS (promoted)
Outs: 8.Lachlan WALES (Concussion – 1 week)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 6. Gianni STENSNESS, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10.Daniel DE SILVA, 11.Jack CLISBY, 12.Marcos UREÑA, 14.Daniel BOUMAN, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michal JANOTA, 23.Dan HALL, 25. Matthew HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA, 29.Alou KUOL, 30. Jordan SMYLIE
**1-3 to be omitted**
Ins: Jordan Smylie (Promoted)
Match Details |
Western United FC v Central Coast Mariners
UTAS Stadium, Launceston
Kick-Off: 5:05pm (Local)(5:05pm (AEST))
Referee: Alireza Faghani
Assistant Referee 1: Wilson Brown
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Ilievski
Fourth Official: Adam Bavcar
VAR: Alex King
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4:30pm (AEST), ABC TV from 5:00pm (AEST), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
Radio Broadcast: COAST FM 96.3