Matchweek 15: Top spot on the line
High-flying Adelaide United will look to equal a club record when it travels to Gosford to take on ladder leaders Central Coast Mariners in a top of the table clash on Thursday night.
A win over the Mariners would not only see the Reds exchange places with Alen Stajcic’s team but extend its winning run to seven consecutive games, a feat not reached since the 2005/06 season.
Adelaide’s 3-2 win over Central Coast in February has been the catalyst for its formidable resurgence, as that result snapped a run of three straight losses.
Carl Veart’s side has since developed a winning habit, making it one of the form team’s in the A-League.
A resolute United defeated Sydney FC 1-0 at home, while the Mariners were held to a 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory.
Veart on the massive game…
The top two teams are playing and Central Coast have been tremendous so far this season. We’re on a very good roll and we’re going their expecting to take the three points.
Veart on Mariners’ improvement…
You look at their side now and they have a resemblance of when they were successful. Their team spirit and their work rate is second to none, so that’s going to be important for us that we match their effort on the pitch and then hopefully our quality will come out on top and allow us to get the victory.
Veart on Juric’s return…
Tomi is fully fit now and we gave him time. As I said earlier we maybe pushed him a little bit too hard at the beginning and asked too much from him. We’ve now allowed him that time to get himself up fully fit and he will travel to Central Coast and will play in the game… How long that is I’m not sure it will depend on how the game is panning out.
Veart on the team being full of confidence…
You can see that in the way that they play now. They’re more confident on the ball and we keep the ball a lot longer than what we were earlier and that’s a key thing that we need to do with the players that we have. The longer that we have the ball, the more opportunities that we’re going to create.
Tomi Juric has been included in the travelling squad, adding another attacking option, while Yaya Dukuly and Jonny Yull have been promoted.
However, Javi López is unavailable after injuring his knee in a challenge against Sydney FC and is set to miss the next six to eight weeks.
James Delianov (hamstring), Mohamed Toure (hamstring), Ryan Kitto (hamstring), Noah Smith (groin), and Nathan Konstandopoulos (knee) remain ruled out.
See the extended squad here.
Last five meetings
3-2 win (H)
2-0 win (H)
2-1 loss (A)
1-3 win (A)
0-1 win (A)
Key stats powered by Opta
- Adelaide United has won nine of its last 11 A-League games against Central Coast Mariners (D1, L1).
- Adelaide United has scored two goals per game when playing away from home this season, the most of any team in the competition.
- Stefan Mauk has a shot conversion rate of 38% from his 16 shots this season, the highest of any player to have recorded at least five total shots.
Ones to watch
Four goals since returning to the Club, Craig Goodwin has been a welcomed addition to the squad and strengthening Adelaide’s offensive play. His presence, quality and experience have wreaked havoc for opposition defences and he will again be fundamental to United sustaining its winning streak.
Oliver Bozanic has provided a steely resolve in the middle of the park for the Mariners, but combines tenacity with composure. The Socceroo has an excellent passing range so imiting his influence on the ball will be pivotal.
Next match details:
Thursday, 1 April vs Central Coast Mariners
A-League 2020/21 – Matchweek 15
Kick-off 7.10pm ACDT
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App