The Mariners will look to extend their unbeaten home record against the Reds. Image courtesy of fifa.com/Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Central Coast Mariners battle it out with Adelaide United on Saturday night, with the winner to face Western Sydney or Brisbane in the A-league semi-finals.
Coming off a 1-0 AFC champions League loss to FC Seoul on Wednesday, the Mariners will have to find their feet quickly if they are going to lengthen their 2013-14 campaign. They face an Adelaide side that has scored six goals in the previous two meetings between the sides, with Central Coast failing to notch a goal of its own. The Mariners' form leading up has been strong though, winning six of their past eight games in all competitions. With no injuries sustained in their midweek clash and a couple of their big names resting for this one, they remain favourites to progress.
Adelaide enter the do-or-die clash off a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle Jets. The Reds lacked conviction and have struggled when travelling this season. Central Coast Stadium in particular has been far from a happy hunting ground for Josep Gombau’s men. The Reds have failed to leave Gosford with maximum points in the last eight meetings. Just like their opponents, Adelaide should field a full-strength squad and will look to capitalise on any fatigue the Mariners may show after their midweek hit-out.
The match is sure to be a close encounter between two teams that are no strangers to finals football. But with the Gosford record firmly on the Mariner's side, and in a match where fans can act as a 12th man, Central Coast is poised to progress into its fourth consecutive A-league semi-final.
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