The Mariners know the Premiers Plate could be theirs by the final whistle on Saturday, but they must first overcome an increasingly stubborn Adelaide United
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
Bojic, Wilkinson, Zwaanswijk, Rose
McGlinchley, Amini, Hutchinson, Rogic
Watson, Boogaard, Mullen, Golec
Caravella, Malik, Cassio
Vidosic, Djite, Ramsay
Central Coast can wrap up the A-League's Premiers Plate with victory over Adelaide on Saturday, providing the Newcastle Jets also win against the Brisbane Roar.
Just a handful of months ago, no-one would have predicted that the race would go to the wire, after the Mariners were over 10 points above Brisbane.
Having only won one game in their last seven, the Mariners will need to beat Adelaide to pick up some form heading into the finals.
Mustafa Amini - who played a part in Wednesday's Australia Under-23 match - will likely move into the starting XI to add some attacking flair to the squad, after the Mariners' lacklustre performance against Perth last Sunday.
The Mariners will be looking forward to getting back to Gosford and playing in front of their fans, after a massive road trip taking in stops in China and Perth. The squad will likely be rotated, with finals coming up and fatigue from their trip likely a factor.
Adelaide United come into the match after another solid defensive performance against Brisbane, but one on which they really should have capitalised after the Roar claimed a late equaliser.
Iain Ramsay and Dario Vidosic starred in a more defensive formation, where their counterattacking was influential.
Sergio Van Dijk and Eugene Galekovic missed due to injury and did not travel to Brisbane on Sunday. They may return to the side, though with Tuesday's AFC Champions League match the latter could be rested for this match.
"I'd imagine Eugene will be back and I think Bruce [Djite] did a good job, so Serge has got his work cut out," Kosmina said.
Cassio enjoyed playing in a central midfield role with Anthony Golec continuing to deputise at left-back. He added another dimension to their attacks and will be looking to do the same again.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Striker Adam Kwasnik is the only Central Coast player to score five goals against Adelaide United.
- Central Coast are unbeaten in their last seven games against Adelaide.
- Central Coast have won their last four encounters with Saturday's opponents.
- Sergio van Dijk has only scored one goal against Central Coast while playing for Adelaide.
- Adelaide have only been in the top six for two rounds of the season.