There is no better clash than a top-of-the-table one, and it would be hard not to expect a gripping encounter at Bluetongue on Saturday between the two sides
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
Bojic, Sainsbury, Zwaanswijk, Rose
Montgomery, Hutchinson, Bozanic
Sterjovski, McBreen, McGlinchley
Watson, Golec, Boogaard, Cassio
Barbiero, Malik, CaravellaFerreira, Neumann, Ramsay
Adelaide are two points clear of the second-placed Mariners after a late Dario Vidosic strike secured a 2-1 win over lowly Sydney FC last Friday.
United have won six and drawn one match this season, while Central Coast are hot on their trail with five wins and two draws after eight weeks.
The Mariners were held to a 2-2 stalemate with Melbourne Victory two weeks ago, but bounced back with a 2-1 win over champions Brisbane Roar at home.
Adelaide will be without Vidosic, who is expected to miss two weeks with a damaged medial knee ligament, while goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic has been selected for Australia's East Asia Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong.
Marcelo Carrusca has also been ruled out, meaning starts for Fabian Barbiero and Zenon Caravella.
Central Coast custodian Mat Ryan and teen sensation Tom Rogic have also been called up, meaning both teams will turn to second-choice goalkeepers Justin Pasfield [Mariners] and 17-year-old Paul Izzo [Adelaide United] respectively.
The Mariners head into the clash as favourites, but face their biggest test of the season without Ryan - linked with to English side Hull City - and exciting playmaker Rogic. At least they regain veteran defender Patrick Zwaanswijk, who returns from suspension.
United coach John Kosmina insists his men are flying under the radar despite an impressive start to the season and has gone as far as to suggest that Central Coast and Victory are the teams to beat. United dominated proceedings against Sydney but were unable to break the deadlock until the final two minutes at Allianz Stadium.
The Mariners have scored more goals than any other team and will be keen to continue their winning run against United.
Central Coast won all three meetings between the sides last season on their way to clinching the premiership, expect Adelaide to put up a stronger fight in search of their first win in Gosford since January 2009.