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  • 12 January 2013
  • • 17:30
  • • Aurora Stadium, Launceston
  • Referee: J. Gillett
  • • Attendance: 6238
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A-League preview: Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners

A-League preview: Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners

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All eyes will be on this match at Launceston's Aurora Stadium, with two of the competition's title favourites doing battle

GOAL.com Indonesia   By GOAL.COM


  PROBABLE LINEUP
MELBOURNE VICTORY

Coe
Ferreira, Ansell, Leijer, Traore
Celeski, Milligan, Dilevski
Rojas, Flores, Thompson

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS

Ryan
Bojic, Sainsbury, Zwaanswijk, Rose
Montgomery, Hutchinson, McGlinchey
Kwasnik, McBreen, Sterjovski


Who will cement themselves as the form team of the competition?

It certainly shapes as the match of the season between third-placed Victory and leaders Central Coast in Launceston on Saturday.

Victory returned to winning ways with a deserved 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix last Saturday, while the Mariners survived a spirited effort from Western Sydney Wanderers to come away with a composed win by the same score. 

Ange Postecoglou's men are seven points behind Central Coast, who have won nine of their past 12 matches and look increasingly likely to become the first team in the short history of the A-League to successfully defend the Premiers' Plate. 

In a thoughtful touch, Victory and Football Federation Australia are using the match to help raise funds for the Tasmanian bushfire appeal, with a portion of ticket sales to be donated to those communities devastated by the fires that tore across the state recently.

Beaten only once in eight matches in Melbourne this season, Victory have given up home advantage for what has become their annual A-League fixture in Launceston.

Graham Arnold's charges will welcome the chance to avoid Melbourne in favour of Tasmania, where Victory, from Postecoglou's point of view at least, could be left to rue their financially beneficial move to the Apple Isle. 

The Mariners will be hard to beat if Daniel McBreen's rich vein of form continues. 

McBreen, with 12 goals to his name already this season, netted a brace to sink the Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium and scored twice in the 2-2 draw with Victory last time the teams met at Etihad Stadium. 

But the Mariners have their squad issues, with goalkeeper Mat Ryan, Tom Rogic and Bernie Ibini all subject of interest from other clubs.

Rogic would have missed the match through suspension regardless, but has jetted off to Spain to link up with Celtic's mid-season camp.

In better news, veteran Dutch defender Patrick Zwaanswijk returns from injury.

Ryan, last season's A-League goalkeeper of the year, is now expected to make the trip to Tasmania after Central Coast confirmed a trial with Scottish club Rangers had been postponed. 

The 20-year-old will have to be at his best against Victory, who have not been held goalless since Week 2 and have scored 10 goals in their past six outings.

Victory released defender Petar Franjic and Julius Davies on Wednesday, and include Matthew Foschini, Theo Markelis and Jimmy Jeggo in an extended squad.

The latter is the perhaps most likely to start, with Postecoglou still looking for the best replacement for long-term injury victim and midfield creator Gui Finkler.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Nathan CoeGoalkeeper
22Adama TraoréDefender
5Spase DilevskiDefender
23Adrian LeijerDefender
-Nicholas AnsellDefender
-Mark Daniel MilliganDefender
10Marcos FloresMidfielder
21Marco RojasMidfielder
2AlexDefender
-Blagoja CeleskiMidfielder
10Archie ThompsonStriker
18Tando VelaphiGoalkeeper
6Leigh BroxhamMidfielder
-Jonathan BruMidfielder
-Andrew NabboutMidfielder
-Mathew David RyanGoalkeeper
3Joshua RoseDefender
-Pedj BojicDefender
5Zachary AndersonDefender
4Patrick ZwaanswijkDefender
7John HutchinsonMidfielder
-Michael McGlincheyMidfielder
18Nick MontgomeryMidfielder
2Daniel McBreenStriker
21Mile SterjovskiMidfielder
23Adam KwasnikStriker
16Justin PasfieldGoalkeeper
13Brent GriffithsDefender
-Oliver BozanicMidfielder
9Bernie Ibini-IseiStriker

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