Nagoya Grampus - Central Coast Mariners Preview: All on the line in Group G

It is winner takes all in Japan when the 2011 J-League runners-up play host to the A-League premiers who have never won on the road in Asia before
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NAGOYA GRAMPUS

Narazaki
Abe, Hayuma, Tulio Tanaka, Masukawa,
Danilson, Fujimoto, Ogawa,
Tamada, Maki, Nagai

CENTRAL COAST

Ryan
McClenahan, Zwaanswijk, Wilkinson, Rose Pellegrino, Hutchinson, Rogic, McGlinchey Kwasnik, McBreen

Nagoya's Australian striker and leading marksman Joshua Kennedy got through 89 minutes in the weekend's 1-0 win over Vissel Kobe but won't be available due to a back problem which kept him out for a month. Midfielder Ryota Isomura will also miss due to injury.

Grampus aren't in great domestic form, sitting down in eighth, with the win over Kobe ending a three-game winless run.

The A-League premiers have a number of headaches to deal with, as star right-back Pedj Bojic is suspended while influential midfielder Oliver Bozanic is unavailable with a knee injury along with Troy Hearfield (back). Those absences open up opportunities for Beijing Olyroo defender Trent McClenahan as well as Adriano Pellegrino in midfield.

Given the A-League season is complete, the Mariners haven't played since their 5-1 rout of Tianjin Teda a fortnight ago and should be fresh after arriving in Japan on the weekend.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Nagoya reached the Round of 16 last season after finishing second in their group, before bowing out to Korean outfit Suwon Bluewings, while they reached the semi-finals in 2009.
  • Prior to the weekend's victory over Vissel Kobe, Grampus hadn't won a game in any competition since April 14, a 3-1 triumph over J-League bottom club Consadole Sapporo.

  • Grampus faced Australian opposition in the ACL in 2009, when they were grouped with Newcastle Jets, who they drew with 1-1 in Nagoya.
  • Central Coast faced Kawasaki Frontale in Japan in their only other ACL appearance in 2009, losing 2-1 on the day.
  • The Mariners have never won away from home in the ACL, with their 5-1 victory over Tianjin on the matchday five their only ever victory in the competition.
  • Mariners coach Graham Arnold (pictured) last week opted to ignore interest from Sydney FC to remain with the club.
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