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Central Coast Mariners - Newcastle Jets Preview

Goal.com logo Goal.com 07-04-2017

Local bragging rights and a chance to avoid the wooden spoon make this a high-stakes F3 Derby when Central Coast Mariners host archrivals Newcastle Jets.

SQUADS

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX (c), 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 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, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 26.Steve WHYTE, 27.Lachlan WALES

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (return from suspension), 27.Lachlan WALES (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (quad – 1 week), 6.Blake POWELL (knee – 3 weeks), 10.Mickael TAVARES (ankle – indefinite), 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)

Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Aleksandr KOKKO, 11.Labinot HALITI, 12.Harrison SAWYER, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 28.John KOUTROUMBIS, 50.Tomislav ARCABA (gk)

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**two to be omitted**

Ins: 9.Aleksandr KOKKO (promoted), 13.Ivan VUJICA (returns from injury), 28.John KOUTROUMBIS (returns from injury)

Outs: 10.Wayne BROWN (suspended – 1 match)

Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles – season), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season)

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

How quickly things can change in football.

Just six weeks ago both these sides were right in the mix for the top six and finals football.

Fast-forward to Round 26 - the penultimate weekend of the regular season - and an F3 Derby which could have been a shootout for sixth spot has turned into a battle to avoid the bottom rung on the ladder.

F3 Derby 'win-at-all-costs' in battle for A-League's wooden spoon

And while Central Coast (10th) and Newcastle (9th) have impressed in patches throughout the campaign, their respective ladder positions are indicative of what most judges would have anticipated prior to the season.

But with two matches left and pride well and truly on the line, there remains plenty to play for in Gosford on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides come into this clash on the back of heavy defeats with the Mariners copping a 5-1 hammering to Brisbane Roar, while Newcastle fell to a 3-0 loss at home to Western Sydney Wanderers.

Wanderers target top four, Jets deflated

A closer look at the form guide doesn't make for pretty reading for either team.

The Mariners and Jets have each lost four in a row with Mark Jones' side having won just one from their past 10 matches, while Paul Okon's men are winless in six matches.

Central Coast (51 goals) and Newcastle (49 goals) are the league's worst two defensive sides and there is little to suggest that will change this weekend.

Should be a nervy, tense afternoon in Gosford.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Attacker Fabio Ferreira has been a revelation for the Mariners since moving into an unfamiliar central role and gave Paul Okon's side a shock lead against the Roar with a long-range cracker last weekend.

The Portuguese flyer has thrived in behind Irish striker Roy O'Donovan and will again be one of the hosts' main threats, especially in transition.

O'Donovan (13 goals) continues to toil manfully up front and remains Central Coast's most likely source of goals, which is why he is reportedly being chased by a host of A-League clubs - including Newcastle - for next season.

For the Jets, three straight games without a goal could force Jones into a reshuffle up front.

A public spat with winger Andrew Hoole last weekend could result in one change, while Wayne Brown's suspension means Newcastle need a new central playmaker.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Storm Roux. The New Zealand international extended his contract with the Central Coast for a further two seasons this week.

FORM LINES

Central Coast Mariners: DLLLL

Newcastle Jets: DLLLL

PREDICTION

Central Coast 2-1 Newcastle Jets

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