The Mariners are on a six-game unbeaten streak.
The top three have all of a sudden got a break on the fourth-placed Newcastle Jets , and coach Gary van Egmond has been forced to make a number of changes as the Central Coast Mariners make the short trip up to the Steel City. Captain Jobe Wheelhouse is the big loss after he sprained his medial collateral ligament on Tuesday. With Ben Kantarovski and Tiago Calvano also out and Josh Mitchell and Ryan Griffiths suspended, van Egmond will be digging deep in to his squad to get a quality starting eleven on the park.
The Jets have lost two of their last three and drawn the other, while the Mariners are riding high on a six-game unbeaten run. In fact, the last time Graham Arnold’s team lost on the road was against the Jets in late October when they went down 2-1 . He’ll be without Tom Rogic and star ‘keeper Mat Ryan who are on international duty at the East Asian Cup qualifying tournament, but the cattle he does have on the park managed to get the job done against previous ladder leader Adelaide last weekend. On a good note, Arnold regains veteran defender Patrick Zwaanswijk from suspension.
The Jets have had no worries in attack for most of the season, but they’ve been held scoreless in their recent losses to Brisbane and Wellington. Marquee man Emile Heskey has found the back of the net five times, but hasn’t scored since the team’s last win back in round 6 against Western Sydney.
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