Match Week 23 | Macarthur v Mariners Preview

The Mariners celebrate against Macarthur earlier this year

The Mariners will take on Macarthur FC on Thursday night in an A-League blockbuster with big ramifications for the top six and finals.

The two sides are tied on points, with the Mariners ahead in fifth spot on goal difference, and the winner of Thursday’s clash will take a big stride towards securing their spot in the finals series.

In two meetings so far this season, the Mariners have prevailed both times, 2-0 winners in Campbelltown in the early weeks of the season and then another 2-0 victory on the Coast in Pink Round, when that goal from Matt Hatch sealed the deal in Gosford.

Alen Stajcic and his side will be looking to rebound from a 1-0 loss in Melbourne, and the Mariners will be looking to come out of the blocks with plenty of energy and fire after the ending to that outing.

Macarthur meanwhile returned from Perth at the beginning of the week after their 1-1 draw with the Glory, and they have key fixtures remaining against Western United and Wellington Phoenix as they look to secure their own finals spot in their inaugural season.

The hosts will be boosted by the return to the squad of a number of players from injury and a rest, while Staj also has a full group to pick from as the team enters crunch time and their final three matches of the regular season.

Speaking on Wednesday ahead of the clash, Staj painted it as a tough contest against an opponent also fighting for their finals hopes.

“We’re excited,” he said.

“It’s a tough game, two teams that are now in the six and fighting to cement their spot in the finals, it will be an interesting game but an exciting one.”

“We worry every game; every opponent is tough in their own way. But Macarthur is a high-quality opponent, we know how hard tomorrow night is going to be, particularly away from home. As I said, we understand how tough it is, but we’re excited by the challenge.”

With matches to come against Newcastle and Western United the Mariners will be excited to return home for their final two, with results at a premium now with finals spots heavily contested.

“Every point is critical now,” Staj said.

“It’s life and death for everyone and every match has an increased level of importance and it just heightens the level of anxiety around the game.”

“But as I said we’ve performed well all year and I know if we keep performing like that in the last three games then we’ll be fine come finals time.”


Squads | 

Macarthur FC squad: 1.Adam FEDERICI (gk), 2.Jake McGING, 3.Antony GOLEC, 4.Benat ETXEBARRIA, 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c), 7.Ivan FRANJIC, 8.Denis GENREAU, 10.Loic PUYO, 11.Tommy OAR, 12.James MEREDITH, 14.Moudi NAJJAR, 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 16.Nick SUMAN (gk), 18.Eddie CASPERS, 19.Michael RUHS 22.Liam ROSE, 27.Matt DERBYSHIRE, 29.Antonis MARTIS, 31.Lachlan ROSE, 33.Markel SUSAETA,

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Jake McGING (promoted), 4.Benat ETXEBARRIA (return from injury),11.Tommy OAR (return from injury), 18.Eddie CASPERS (promoted), 31.Lachlan ROSE (promoted)

Outs: 17.Kyle CIMENTI (not selected), 23.Walter SCOTT (not selected), 24.Charles M’MOMBWA (ankle — 1 week)

Unavailable: 6.Aleksandar JOVANOVIC (injury – calf 1-2 weeks)


Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3. Lewis MILLER, 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 6. Gianni STENSNESS, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10. Daniel DESVILA, 11.Jack CLISBY, 12. Marco UREÑA,14.Daniel BOUMAN, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21. Ruon TONGYIK, 23. Dan HALL, 25. Matthew HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA, 29. Alou KUOL, 30. Jordan SMYLIE, 32. Max BALARD

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 25. Matthew HATCH (Promoted), 32. Max BALARD (Promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil


Game Details |
Macarthur FC v Central Coast Mariners

Campbelltown Stadium, Campbelltown

Kick-Off: 7:05pm (Local)(7:05pm (AEST))

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1: Anton Shchetinin

Assistant Referee 2: Lance Greenshields

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

TV Broadcast:  Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:00pm (AEST), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand) , Kayo Sports ( and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers