Football is back at Central Coast Stadium this afternoon as the Central Coast Mariners host Wellington Phoenix in Match Week 6 of the A-League
The Mariners will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak to Wellington when the two sides meet, with kick off at 4pm.
The last win for the hosts against the Phoenix was a 1-0 victory in 2018, but it is a very different Mariners outfit this time with a strong start to the season leaving Alen Stajcic’s side around the pointy end of the table.
A confidence-boosting 2-0 win over Sydney FC snapped a seven-year winless streak away to the Sky Blues and was the result of a well-executed game plan and resilient performance from a team on just a two-day turnaround.
Now with over a week to prepare, they will face a Phoenix side who fell to Newcastle in Wollongong last weekend and are still looking for their first win of the young A-League season.
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) January 30, 2021
Alen Stajcic is wary of the threat posed by the Phoenix though, and stressed this week that ladder position is not indicative of where he sees this week’s opponents.
“We’re not taking wellington lightly at all,” he said on Saturday.
“In my view they’ve been one of the best teams of the A-League over the last 13-14 months and this year is no exception. I know that results haven’t really followed that trajectory of their performances, but I think in all three games they’ve been relatively unlucky not to get the win so we’re certainly not underestimating them.”
“We understand how a good a team they actually are, especially going forward they have some excellent players that we’ll have to try and nullify.”
Team news was released on Saturday as well and the big change for the Mariners concerned Josh Nisbet, who will miss the clash with an ankle injury sustained in the win over Sydney last Friday.
“The only likely exclusion is Josh Nisbet, who picked up an injury when he was fouled in the first minutes of the game last week,” Stajcic said when asked about the team.
“He got that tackle from behind and hurt his ankle a little bit, he is nearly ready but we just don’t want to risk him for tomorrow.”
Stefan Jankovic, Max Balard and Michal Janota have all been added to the extended group, with Jankovic and Janota still waiting to make their Mariners debuts as they continue to train with the squad following their arrival in Australia.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 5.Stefan NIGRO, 6.Gianni STENSNESS, 7.Stefan JANKOVIC, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10.Daniel DESILVA, 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, 32.Max BALARD
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Stefan JANKOVIC (Promoted), 22.Michal JANOTA (Promoted), 32.Max BALARD (Promoted)
Outs: 4.Joshua NISBET (Injured – Ankle)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 2.Liam McGING, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 5.James MCGARRY, 6.Tim PAYNE, 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9.David BALL, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 12.Matthew RIDENTON, 14.Alex RUFER, 15.Mirza MURATOVIC, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Tomer HEMED, 18.Ben WAINE, 19.Sam SUTTON, 20.Oliver SAIL, 21.Joshua LAWS, 23.Clayton LEWIS
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 14.Alex RUFER (return from suspension), 19.Sam SUTTON (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Reno PISCOPO (calf injury – 1 week)
Match Details |
Sunday, 31 January 2021
Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 4:05pm (Local)(4:05pm (AEDT))
Referee: Daniel Elder
Assistant Referee 1: Kearney Robinson
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew McOrist
Fourth Official: Ben Abraham
VAR: Alex King
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 3:30pm (AEDT), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvWEL