For the second successive week, Adelaide United FC will meet one of the Hyundai A-League’s championship contenders as they continue to prepare for their ACL clash with Gamba Osaka.
For the second successive week, Adelaide United FC will meet one of the Hyundai A-League-s championship contenders, the Central Coast Mariners, in a game that has more than enough reasons for the Reds to want to win, but also a game that means a lot in the context of top spot in the league.
An AFC Champions League match against Gamba Osaka at Hindmarsh Stadium on Tuesday night might be the game that the Reds have their sights set on, but tomorrow-s tussle with the Mariners has its own motivations.
In recent times the Mariners have been a bogey side for the Reds, United having lost its last four meetings against the Central Coast.
One has to go back to the 11th of September 2009 for the last time the Reds beat the team from Gosford, and after going down in a five goal thriller when the teams last met back in Week 16, it fuels more than enough of a reason to topple the league leaders.
The Mariners, who sit atop of the table just two points ahead of Brisbane Roar with two games remaining, may appear to be the ones with more to play for heading into this clash, but United Coach John Kosmina is not being drawn into the interest surrounding the race for the Premier-s Plate.
“It-s more about us than it is about them. Obviously we want to win the game regardless of whether the Mariners have got a premiership on the end of it or not,” Kosmina said.
“It-s not about being friendly with the Mariners, it-s about us being successful as a team and also practise what we need to do on Tuesday night against Gamba.”
While they may not be in the running for the finals or the prize that comes with finishing top the end of the minor round, Kosmina is adamant the Reds will not be out to do the Mariners, or their coach Graham Arnold, any favours.
“I would like Arnie (Graham Arnold) to be successful, I-ve known him for 30 years and he-s a mate of mine, but you can-t let friendships get in the road of what your business is, and this is business,” Kosmina said.
As they did in Brisbane last Sunday, the Reds will use the match at Bluetongue Stadium as an integral part of their preparations for the clash with Gamba, and if there were not already have enough incentives, Kosmina was also more than willing to throw in another one.
“Tomorrow is virtually part of training but that-s how I-d like games to be anyway - it-s what you do during the week that you try and get some success out of on the weekend and so that-s all part of the process leading towards Tuesday,” Kosmina said.
“We want three points out of it (against the Mariners) because it will secure our position and also as much as it might not be important in some people-s eyes, it would be nice to finish above Melbourne (Victory) if we can do that.”
Captain Eugene Galekovic will return between the posts against the Mariners and striker Sergio van Dijk will also make the trip to Gosford after both missed the draw with the Roar, while Kosmina revealed defender Jon McKain would be promoted to the starting line up.
“We-ll soon find out won-t we,” Kosmina replied in whether McKain was ready to go for his first start since the 16th of December.
“I think Jonny is a good centre back and he can do a job for us, so Cam Watson will go to the bench and Daniel Mullen will get another go at right back, which I think is a good position for him because he-s got a good physical presence and he loves getting forward.”
The Reds have received one setback with Cassio succumbing to a corked calf he suffered against Brisbane, Kosmina not willing to risk the pocket rocket with Gamba Osaka just around the corner.
“He (Cassio) got a couple of knocks in the calf last week, and given his history with calves it-s just not worth the risk, so he-s just downloaded a little bit and he won-t be travelling,” Kosmina said.
Kick-Off is at 5.00pm ACDT.
Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season - Week 24 Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United FC Saturday 17 March 2012, Bluetongue Stadium Kick-Off: 5.30pm AEDT (5.00pm ACDT) Referee: Ben Williams
TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1 Twitter: twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #HALccmau)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain, 5.Daniel Mullen, 7.Zenon Caravella, 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 15.Jacob Melling, 17.Iain Ramsay, 20.Mark Birighitti (gk), 21.Francisco Usucar, 25.Evan Kostopoulos *one to be omitted*
In: Eugene Galekovic (gk) (returns from injury), Sergio van Dijk (returns from injury), Jacob Melling (promoted) Out: Cassio (calf - 1 week), Paul Izzo (gk) (omitted) Unavailable: Fabian Barbiero (suspended - 3 matches), Spase Dilevski (groin - indefinite)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2.Daniel McBreen, 3.Joshua Rose, 4.Pedj Bojic, 6.Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7.John Hutchinson, 9.Bernie Ibini, 10.Adriano Pellegrino, 11.Oliver Bozanic, 12.Troy Hearfield, 14.Michael McGlinchey, 15.Brad McDonald, 16.Trent Sainsbury, 17.Tomas Rogic, 18.Alex Wilkinson (C), 19.John Sutton, 20.Justin Pasfield (Gk), 21.Sam Gallagher, 22.Mustafa Amini, 23.Adam Kwasnik *five to be omitted*
In: Adriano Pellegrino, Brad McDonald, John Sutton, Sam Gallagher, Mustafa Amini (All Promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Nil
Adelaide United vs. Central Coast Mariners - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 21 - 6 wins, 6 draws, 9 losses
21-Jan-2012… L 2-3… 2011/12 Wk 16 (Bluetongue Stadium) 2-Dec-2011… L 0-4… 2011/12 Wk 9 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 29-Jan-2011… L 1-2… 2010/11 Wk 25 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 26-Dec-2010… L 0-2… 2010/11 Wk 20 (Bluetongue Stadium) 15-Aug-2010… D 1-1… 2010/11 Wk 2 (Bluetongue Stadium) 15-Jan-2010… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 23 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 31-Oct-20009… D 0-0… 2009/10 Rd 13 (Canberra Stadium) 11-Sep-2009… W 1-0… 2009/10 Rd 6 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 25-Jan-2009… W 1-0… 2008/09 Rd 21 (Bluetongue Stadium) 15-Nov-2008… L 0-3… 2008/09 Rd 11 (Bluetongue Stadium) 3-Oct-2008… D 3-3… 2008/09 Rd 7 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 14-Dec-2007… L 1-2… 2007/08 Rd 17 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 10-Nov-2007… L 0-2… 2007/08 Rd 12 (Bluetongue Stadium) 30-Sep-2007… W 2-1… 2007/08 Rd 6 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 21-Jan-2007… W 3-1… 2006/07 Rd 21 (Bluetongue Stadium) 25-Nov-2006… L 0-2… 2006/07 Rd 14 (Bluetongue Stadium) 6-Oct-2006… W 3-1… 2006/07 Rd 7 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 26-Feb-2006… L 0-1… 2005/06 Preliminary Final (Hindmarsh Stadium) 20-Jan-2006… D 1-1… 2005/06 Rd 19 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 13-Nov-2005… W 2-1… 2005/06 Rd 12 (Bluetongue Stadium) 25-Sep-2005… D 1-1… 2005/06 Rd 5 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
At Bluetongue Stadium Played 9; Adelaide United 3, Central Coast Mariners 5, Draws 1
At Hindmarsh Stadium Played 11; Adelaide United 3, Central Coast Mariners 4, Draws 4
At Canberra Stadium Played 1; Adelaide United 0, Central Coast Mariners 0, Draws 1
Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League 21-Jan-2012 Week 16, Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season at Bluetongue Stadium Central Coast Mariners 3 (McBreen 15-, Kwasnik 74-, Rose 78-) Adelaide United FC 2 (van Dijk 16-, Djite 19-)
Adelaide United last three results Wk 23. 11-3-12… D 1-1… vs. Brisbane Roar (Suncorp Stadium) Wk 22. 1-3-12… L 0-2… vs. Perth Glory (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 21. 24-2-12… L 0-1… vs. Newcastle Jets (Hunter Stadium)