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Newcastle Jets - Central Coast Mariners Preview

Goal.com logo Goal.com 25-02-2017

Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners will have finals football on their minds when they meet in Sunday’s crucial F3 Derby at McDonald Jones Stadium.

SQUADS

Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Aleksandr KOKKO, 11.Labinot HALITI, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 28.John KOUTROUMBIS, 29.Joel ALLWRIGHT, 50.Tomislav ARCABA (gk)

**two to be omitted**

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Ins: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (promoted), 9.Aleksandr KOKKO (promoted), 11.Labinot HALITI (promoted), 13.Ivan VUJICA (promoted), 29.Joel ALLWRIGHT (promoted)

Outs: 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (suspended – 1 match), 10.Wayne BROWN (suspended – 1 match), 18.MA Leilei (suspended – 1 match)

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

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Blake POWELL, 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

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 6.Blake POWELL (returns from injury), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (returns from suspension)

Outs: Nil

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

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

With both sides suffering defeats last weekend, Newcastle and Central Coast need to win on Sunday to regain momentum in their respective bids to qualify for the A-League finals.

Get ready for an intense F3 Derby.

The Jets come into this clash on the back of one of their most disappointing performances of the season, a toothless 1-0 loss away to bottom-placed Adelaide United.

Mark Jones' side lacked cohesion at Coopers Stadium and looked devoid of ideas at times, with star wingers Andrew Hoole and Andrew Nabbout rarely sighted.

A short turnaround after their rescheduled fixture against Melbourne Victory may have contributed to a flat performance but they will have no such concerns this week after a nine-day break.

Meanwhile, after three straight wins catapulted Central Coast into finals contention, the Mariners were brought crashing back to earth with a disappointing 3-0 loss at home to Victory last weekend.

Victory trio Besart Berisha, Marco Rojas and James Troisi consistently exposed the Mariners and Paul Okon will need to quickly sort out any recurring defensive frailties against the Jets.

The return of skipper Nick Montgomery from suspension is a massive boost for the visitors.

With a difficult fortnight ahead against Melbourne City and Sydney FC, the Mariners simply must take three points from their journey north.

The F3 Derby may have lost some of its lustre in recent years but the clash in Newcastle earlier this year rekindled the rivalry, and Sunday's meeting in the Hunter looms as the most crucial for quite some time.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Despite misfiring in front of goal against Adelaide, Newcastle have vastly improved their attacking output in 2016-17 having netted 26 goals in 20 games so far this season.

The Jets only managed 28 last term, and speedsters Nabbout (eight goals) and Hoole (5 goals) have been key for Newcastle this season.

The home side's cause hasn't been helped as attacking midfielders Wayne Brown and Ma Leilei are both ruled out through suspension, along with skipper Nigel Boogaard.

Irish striker Roy O'Donovan (10 goals) has been one of the shining lights for the Mariners this season with his energy and eye for goal consistently troubling opponents.

But the 31-year-old was largely a peripheral figure last weekend and will be hoping for improved service from wide areas if he is going to trouble a reshuffled Jets back four.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Newcastle Jets' discipline. In arguably the biggest game of the season, the hosts will be without captain Boogaard, Brown and Ma through suspension following an accumulation of yellow cards.

FORM LINES

Newcastle Jets: LWLDL

Central Coast Mariners: LWWWL

PREDICTION

Newcastle Jets 2-1 Central Coast Mariners

More: Okon: F3 Derby to decide Mariners' finals hopes

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