Sydney FC
1
Hyundai A-League
(Fri 10 Mar 2017, 07.50PM LOCAL)
FINAL
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Attendance: 11148
SBS
Fox Sports
ABC
Central Coast Mariners
0

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Sky Blues mindset focused on Mariners

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Sky Blues mindset focused on Mariners
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Hyundai A-League preview: Sydney FC v Mariners

Mariners must win to keep their slender finals hopes alive at Allianz against a rampant Sydney FC that is tantalisingly close to Premiership silverware.

MATCH DETAILS

Friday, 10 March 2017

Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners

Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off:  7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))

Referee:  Shaun Evans

Assistant Referee 1:  Owen Goldrick

Assistant Referee 2:  Kearney Robinson

Fourth Official:  Jarred Gillett

TV Broadcast:  Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS VICELAND from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast:  ABC Grandstand Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Crocmedia A-League Live ( www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio ), Coast FM 96.3

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvCCM #FFW

To purchase tickets visit  www.aleague.com.au

Sydney FC squad:  1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 12.Aaron CALVER, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT

**two to be omitted**

#SydneyDerby - Sydney FC is undefeated in their last nine Hyundai A-League games against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Ins:  12.Aaron CALVER (promoted), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted)

Outs:  Nil

Unavailable:  22.Seb RYALL (hamstring – 2-3 weeks)

Central Coast Mariners squad:  1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 19.Jacques FATY, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 30.Adam PEARCE (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Central Coast Mariners players celebrate Kwabena Appiah's goal in their win over Adelaide United.

Ins:  19.Jacques FATY (promoted), 21.Michael NEILL (promoted), 30.Adam PEARCE (gk)

Outs:  20.Paul IZZO (gk) (suspended 1 – match)

Unavailable:  10.Mickael TAVARES (ankle injury – indefinite), 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

It’s a split round in the Hyundai A-League and we’re in for an intriguing Harvey Norman Friday night clash in the Harbour City.

Sydney FC moved a step closer to the A-League Premiership last weekend, their 1-0 Big Blue triumph over second-placed Melbourne Victory opening up an 11-point gap with just five games to play.

If the Sky Blues can topple the Mariners – and Victory fails to beat Perth Glory 24 hours later – the silverware will be Sydney’s.

Some of their football against Victory was sublime and it was only some wasteful finishing that prevented an even bigger win.

Sydney FC players celebrate their win over Melbourne Victory in Friday night's Big Blue.

Which spells trouble for a Mariners side which is winless in their last eight meetings with Sydney FC, including a 4-0 drubbing at Allianz back in round 2.

And Central Coast missed a big opportunity to close in on the top six last weekend, losing a five-goal thriller against Melbourne City 3-2.

While coach Paul Okon has refused to rule out his side’s finals aspirations, it’s getting very much down to their last chance.

The Gosford club simply must win this one to keep the pressure on those above them and their task hasn’t been made any easier with in-form keeper Paul Izzo – February’s nominee for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award - suspended.

Izzo’s red card against City should see ex-Sky Blues gloveman Ivan Necevski get a rare start, while another former Sydney FC man – defender Jacques Faty – has also been promoted to the squad after a lengthy absence.

Ivan Necevski

OPTA DATA

Sydney FC v Central Coast: Did you know?

ROUTE TO GOAL

These two sides could hardly have different set-ups in the front third.

The Sky Blues have been firing on all cylinders since the opening round. They haven’t relied on one player to score their goals with Bobo (11), Brosque (9), Ninkovic (8) and Holosko (6) all chipping in consistently.

Brazilian marquee Bobo is the one who has been the key contributor recently, with his winner against Victory his fourth in his last four starts.

Sydney FC forwards Bobo and Filip Holosko celebrate combining for the winner against Victory.

Their narrow midfield set up allows their marauding fullbacks Grant and Zullo to get forward at will, and their overlapping runs and crossing has been a real feature of Sydney’s play.

And you can’t help but salivate at the weapons Arnold has to call-on off the bench. Ibini, Carney, Simon and Dimitrijevic would probably all be starters at most other clubs but have had to settle for the role of impact player.

While Sydney FC have goal threats everywhere, the Mariners have relied on striker Roy O’Donovan.

The Irishman has done his part with 10 goals for the campaign but the next best is Fabio Ferreira with three, underlining Central Coast’s issues in front of goals.

Fabio Ferreira

But that doesn’t mean the Mariners are a one-trick pony.

Wingers Connor Pain, Kwabena Appiah and Trent Buhagiar can be dangerous on their day, with speed are able to stretch any defence.

But this is a Sydney rear-guard which has shipped just 11 goals all season - and validating that has seen keeper Vukovic and right-back Grant rewarded with Caltex Socceroos selection for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK

Danny Vukovic and Rhyan Grant. The Sky Blues defender is enjoying his best-ever season in the Hyundai A-League and was rewarded this week his first Caltex Socceroos call-up alongside big Vuko. A big game here for both could lock-up spots in the final 23-man squad for games against Iraq and UAE.

FORM LINES (last five games)

Sydney FC: DWLWW

Mariners: WWLDL

PREDICTION

Sydney FC 3-0 Central Coast Mariners 

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Sky Blues edge Mariners

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Sydney FC Rd23 press conference

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Sydney FC v Central Coast highlights

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Sky Blues edge Mariners
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Sydney FC Rd23 press conference
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Central Coast Rd23 press conference
Central Coast Rd23 press conference
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Sydney FC v Central Coast highlights
Sydney FC v Central Coast highlights

Holosko strike fires Sky Blues past Central Coast

Sydney FC are one win away from having an unassailable lead in the Premiership race after grinding out a 1-0 win against the Central Coast Mariners at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.

An early goal from Filip Holosko put the home side in control, with Mariners goalkeeper Ivan Necevski pulling off multiple sharp saves in the second half to keep the visitors in the contest.

Coming up against his former side Necevski denied Bernie Ibini from the penalty spot, while he needed to dive full stretch to turn a Brandon O’Neill free-kick around the post in a man-of-the-match display.

The Sky Blues jumped out of the box in the opening match of a split Round 23 with defender Jordy Buijs firing an early warning shot when he blazed over the bar.

Sydney didn't have to wait long to take the lead however when their Slovak striker empathically buried a pinpoint cross from Michael Zullo at the back post.

Recently selected Socceroo Rhyan Grant mishit a chance to double his side’s lead before the break, while substitute Ibini also stuck the crossbar following his penalty miss.

The Mariners were not without some chances of their own with Fabio Ferreira and Roy O’Donovan both spurning free headers in the first-half, but they struggled to find a route to goal after the interval.

The result sees the Sky Blues complete a season sweep of the Central Coast and the Premiers Plate will be theirs if Melbourne Victory fail to beat Perth Glory on Saturday night.

Meanwhile the Mariners hopes of playing finals football have been all but extinguished but they’ll take heart from the fact they pushed the run-away league leaders all the way on their home patch.

Catch up with all the action at the match centre here

GOALS

1-0 Sydney FC: Filip Holosko, 8’

Some crisp passing from the Sky Blues gave Michael Zullo the chance to whip in a dangerous cross to the back post, where Holosko charged onto the ball and volleyed home from the six yard line.

CROWD

11,148 @ Allianz Stadium

Re-live all the action on Twitter

@ALeague, @SydneyFC, @CCMariners, #SYDvCCM

#SYDvCCM