The Mariners were surprise losers last time out, but will struggle to find relief when Perth Glory visit Bluetongue Stadium on New Year's Eve
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
Bojic, Sainsbury, Anderson, Rose
McGlinchley, Montgomery, Bozanic
Sterjovski, Duke, Ibini
Risdon, Pantelidis, Van den Brink, Jamieson
Dodd, Miller, Burns, Heffernan
The Mariners saw a nine-match unbeaten run come to an end against Frank Farina's side, who won thanks to a late Brett Emerton header. Central Coast struggled to assert their dominance on the contest as a battling, all-effort display from Sydney FC saw them claim the three points.
In a fiery finish to the match, midfielders John Hutchinson and Tom Rogic were sent off and the red cards will mean Mariners boss Graham Arnold needs to make significant changes for the match against the Perth Glory.
The league's leading scorer, Daniel McBreen – with 10 goals to his name this campaign – will also sit on the sidelines after picking up a yellow card in the second half.
The absence of McBreen means Matt Duke could be called upon to partner Bernie Ibini up front for the Mariners, while Mile Sterjovski, Oliver Bozanic and Adriano Pellegrino are the favourites to replace Hutchinson and Rogic.
In better news, right-back Pedj Bojic will return and should replace Hayden Morton in defence. Patrick Zwaanswijk continues to miss through injury.
Perth also failed to win, with Nick Ward's terrific late strike giving them a point in a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Glory lacked fluency until the dying stages of the match but will be pleased to extend their unbeaten streak to three matches.
Last season's losing grand finalists are slowly starting to come good and sit fifth on the table, nine points behind the table-topping Mariners.
Glory defender Michael Thwaite suffered a serious calf injury against the Wanderers and is sure to be on the sideline for some time.
The former Gold Coast United and Melbourne Victory defender has been a calming influence at the back for Perth this season, who have conceded just 11 goals in 13 matches.
Consistency amongst the back four is a common theme among good defences and the loss of Thwaite will disrupt Perth's set-up at the back. And although Steve Pantelidis is a handy replacement, the Australia international will be missed.
Scott Jamieson and Travis Dodd will return to the starting XI at left-back and right midfield respectively.
It seems silly to tip against a Mariners victory when they are playing at home. But the loss of Rogic and McBreen will be felt by Arnold's side, and as a result, fluidity in the final third will be much harder to achieve.
Perth have improved in recent times and it should not be forgotten that, after a sloppy start to last season, they came storming home. Ian Ferguson's side have a talented team and Jacob Burns and Liam Miller should be able to hold their own in the midfield.
That will give the Glory plenty of possession going forward and they look good value to claim a point.