ACL preview: Central Coast Mariners v Kashiwa Reysol
With Kashiwa already qualified for the knockout stages, the Central Coast Mariners are aiming to join them and have their fate in their own hands at Bluetongue Stadium
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
Bojic, Sainsbury, Zwaanswijk, RoseMontgomery, Hutchinson, McGlinchey
Fujita, Watanabe, Kondo, Masushima, Kurisawa, Otani, Kudo, Jorge Wagner, Tanaka
The newly crowned A-League champions have failed to progress to the knockout phase of the competition in their two previous appearances.
But the Mariners, who claimed a stunning 1-0 victory in Suwon on matchday five, sit second in Group H and four points behind leaders Kashiwa.
They are two clear of rivals Guizhou Renhe heading into Tuesday's final group fixtures.
And the equation is simple for Graham Arnold's men - emerge victorious at Bluetongue and a last-16 berth alongside Kashiwa awaits.
Looking at the Mariners form in Gosford, one would not put it past them to get the result they desire.
The Mariners are unbeaten in their last five ACL League games, a run stretching back to last season. But they are yet to beat Japanese opposition on home soil.
But even if results do not go the Mariners way on Tuesday, they can still make it out of the group if hosts Guizhou fail to beat Suwon, who have already been eliminated.
Kashiwa are coming off a 4-0 defeat to J. League leaders Omiya Ardija but have won their last two away fixtures in the competition, beating Guizhou and Suwon comfortably.Nelsinho Baptista's men have already sealed progression to the last 16 but they will be determined to create some sort of momentum ahead of Monday's J. League meeting with second-placed Yokohama F. Marinos.
Brazilian attacker Leandro Domingues was a handful in the pairs previous meeting in March, netting a brace.
Since that game, the former Cruzeiro man, who recently returned from injury, has scored against Vegalta Sendai and most recently against Nagoya Grampus.
The Mariners have proved to be big-game performers not only this season but throughout their existence.
The return of captain John Hutchinson in the middle of the pitch will add some needed resilience and heart, adding to the Mariners' impetus for Kashiwa's visit.
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Top 3 Predictions
Central Coast Mariners 1-2 Kashiwa Reysol
- 15.22 %
Central Coast Mariners 1-1 Kashiwa Reysol
- 10.87 %
Central Coast Mariners 0-2 Kashiwa Reysol
- 10.87 %
|AFC Champions League (ACL)||30/04/2013||Central Coast Mariners 0 - Kashiwa Reysol 3|
|AFC Champions League (ACL)||13/03/2013||Kashiwa Reysol 3 - Central Coast Mariners 1|
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