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A-League

  • 10 November 2013
  • • 17:00
  • • Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
  • Referee: B. Williams
  • • Attendance: 8303
0
FT
1

Ladbrokes PaddyPower WilliamHill MyBet Tipico
Central Coast Mariners 2.15 2.10 2.15 2.25 2.15
Draw 3.20 3.50 3.20 3.10 3.10
Brisbane 3.10 3.40 3.20 3.05 3.20
Thomas Broich races Trent Sainsbury to the ball

A-League preview: Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar

Thomas Broich races Trent Sainsbury to the ball

Getty

Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar will meet in Round 5 of the 2013-14 A-League season at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday November 10 at 5.00pm AEDT

PROBABLE LINE-UPS
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS

Pasfield
Anderson, Sainsbury, Seip, Rose
Montogomery, Hutchinson, Fitzgerald,
Flores, Duke, Simon/McBreen

BRISBANE ROAR

Theo
Hingert, Smith, North, Brown
Brattan, McKay
Franjic, Broich, Henrique
Yeboah
Head-to-head:
Played: 36 - Wins: Central Coast 8, Brisbane 7, Draws: 11

Previous encounter:
Central Coast 1-0 Brisbane, March 17, 2013

Past five matches (including pre-season):
Central Coast: DWDDL
Brisbane: WLWWW

The Game:

This is one of the biggest games of the round, along with the clash between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, and more significant to the potential outcome of the title. Of the teams contesting the 'Big Blue' in the Harbour City, only Victory should harbour realistic ambitions of winning silverware, but both Central Coast and Brisbane have every reason to consider themselves likely challengers at the sharp end of the campaign. The result of the Sunday showdown at Bluetongue will offer an indication of which team's championship candidacy is in better shape at this early stage.

Graham Arnold's Mariners have lacked consistency early in their title defence, but there has nevertheless been merit in several of their results. There was no shame in being held at home by beaten grand finalists Western Sydney, and twice coming from two goals down to draw on the road, against first Melbourne Heart and then Newcastle Jets, should not be discounted, although a team of Central Coast's pedigree and talent should not have found themselves trailing by that margin in the first place against such questionable opposition. There is certainly plenty of room for improvement in a line-up which is much-changed from last season, and don't bet against them turning on the style without notice at some point in the coming weeks.

Brisbane meanwhile have convincingly passed most of the tests they have encountered so far in 2013-14, other than a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Melbourne Victory. On Sunday they were out of sorts and under pressure at home to Melbourne Heart, but weathered the first-half storm before pouncing to brush aside their opponents in the second half. Mike Mulvey is set to learn a lot about just how good his team is when they make the trip to Gosford.

The big issue:

Possession - Who will win control in midfield? The Mariners are equally comfortable playing with or without the ball, while the Roar, boasting a midfield packed with technically-minded players and led by Thomas Broich, will hope to dictate terms, even away from home against the reigning champions. If the Mariners choose to let the visitors play, can they keep them in non-threatening areas before springing a deadly counter-attack? Or will Arnold send his players out to beat the Roar at their own passing-focused game, leaving Mulvey's defence exposed to the likes of Marcos Flores and Mitchell Duke?

The game breaker:

Thomas Broich - When the German maestro is on song, the Roar are never out of a game. While there is plenty of talent around him, Broich is the ultimate barometer for determining Brisbane's chances of success or failure. The Mariners' combative central midfielders, Nick Montgomery and John Hutchinson, will look to shut the 32-year-old down. If they succeed in doing so, and without the X-factor of the injured Besart Berisha, the Roar could struggle.

Prediction: Central Coast 2-1 Brisbane

Mulvey's team have everything required to give a good account of themselves in Gosford and are capable of earning a victory which would represent a real statement of intent to the rest of the competition. But without fullback Shane Stefanutto and Berisha, who are both set to remain on the sidelines, this challenge may have arrived too soon for the early front-runners. The Mariners are due a commanding display to reassert themselves as one of the dominant forces in the competition, and Arnold will hope it arrives this Sunday.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Liam ReddyGoalkeeper
3Joshua RoseDefender
-Marcel SeipDefender
5Zachary AndersonDefender
-Trent SainsburyDefender
7John HutchinsonMidfielder
18Nick MontgomeryMidfielder
10Marcos FloresMidfielder
24Mitchell DukeStriker
-Nick FitzgeraldStriker
2Daniel McBreenStriker
16Justin PasfieldGoalkeeper
13Brent GriffithsDefender
17Anthony CaceresMidfielder
-Matt SimonStriker
21Mile SterjovskiMidfielder
1Michael TheoklitosGoalkeeper
2Matt SmithDefender
5Ivan FranjicDefender
15James DonachieDefender
19Jack HingertDefender
26Corey BrownDefender
-Matt McKayMidfielder
18Luke BrattanMidfielder
22Thomas BroichMidfielder
10HenriqueStriker
11Dimitri PetratosStriker
20Matt ActonGoalkeeper
-Diogo FerreiraMidfielder
-Devante ClutMidfielder
-Brandon BorrelloStriker
-Kwame YeboahStriker

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