Central Coast Mariners return to Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday afternoon looking for their first win of the A-League season. Standing in their path is fellow unbeaten side Adelaide United.
The Mariners look likely to be unchanged from their 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart a week ago. Adelaide welcome back Isias and former Mariner Nigel Boogaard from suspension, and fresh legs could be an important factor for the Reds after they seemed to run out of gas against Melbourne Victory last Friday.
Marcos Flores is already proving to be hugely influential for Graham Arnold’s side, just as we predicted on the eve of the season. Of the Mariners’ three goals so far this season Flores has scored two (both penalties) and provided the killer pass assist for the other. He will be certain to be fired up for this clash against his former side, and the fans who booed his every touch last season for the Victory.
While the football that Adelaide have produced in their opening two games has been easy on the eye, the way they allowed Victory to get back into the game last week will be a concern for new coach Josep Gombau. Based on recent head to head contests the Mariners are looking good to register their first win of the season, having won the past eight games between the two sides.
Saturday 26th October, Bluetongue Stadium Gosford 17:30
Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United