Mat Ryan is a big reason why the Mariners concede so few goals. Image courtesy of foxsports.com.au/News Limited
has been struggling of late while two-time defending champion Brisbane is making a late charge for the top six. With an arduous workload thanks to the AFC Champions League kick-off, the Mariners have lost their last four in all competitions, while Roar has collected twelve points from its past seven starts.
Graham Arnold took a relatively young squad to Japan for his side’s 3-1 loss to Kashiwa Reysol, so he should be able to bring in some fresh legs from his extended squad for Sunday’s encounter. Even discounting Champions League matches, the Mariners’ domestic form has been patchy with three losses in four matches, including a surprise 2-0 derby loss to a rejuvenated Sydney FC last weekend.
Brisbane, by all rights, probably should have taken all three points from Melbourne Victory’s visit to Suncorp Stadium last weekend. The 1-1 draw is a result they may well rue in three weeks’ time when the home and away season comes to an end. They need wins not draws, and unless they can find a way fix their issues in front of goal, then they won’t be seeing any finals action. Even during their purple patch over, Roar has found the back of the net just eight times in seven games.
They’ll find it hard to break down a Mariners defence which has helped the black and golds to nine wins and a draw from 11 matches at Bluetongue Stadium. Central Coast has conceded just eight goals in Gosford, and, remarkably, four of those came in the 7-2 drubbing of Sydney FC and 6-2 annihilation of Melbourne Victory three weeks back.
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