Daniel McBreen has a great record against Phoenix. Image courtesy of fifa.com/Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
The Central Coast Mariners play host to the struggling Wellington Phoenix at the unfamiliar confines of North Sydney Oval, in a match which was rescheduled to accommodate All Whites World Cup qualifiers. It’s the former home of the Northern Spirit in the old NSL, a club current Mariners coach Phil Moss used to play for.
The Mariners will be keen to move on from their emphatic 4-0 loss at the hands of Adelaide last week with a win, which shouldn’t be too difficult as they have won their last three home games against the Kiwis. Daniel McBreen will no doubt be champing at the bit to get on the score sheet, having done so in their last three meetings. Defence shouldn’t be a struggle for the defending champions either, having not conceded a goal against the ‘Nix in the same period and just three in the past eight.
Wellington will be desperate for their first win of the season and perhaps now is a good time to take advantage of a floundering Mariners team, rather than meeting them back in round six when this game was originally scheduled when Graham Arnold was still in charge. But unless Ernie Merrick can inspire a turnaround of astounding proportions, a relatively unchanged squad may continue to struggle, even against a depleted Central Coast line-up. The Mariners have added Brent Griffiths to their unavailable list due to a one-week suspension, but are bolstered by the promotion of young flyer Nick Fitzgerald .
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