Hyundai A-League preview: Sydney FC v Central Coast

The Sky Blues have proved Central Coast’s bogey team in recent years but something could be brewing in Gosford. Can Paul Okon’s Mariners build on last week’s comeback and bring a flying Sydney FC back down to earth?

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners

Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 5:35PM (Local) (5:35PM (AEDT))

Referee: Stephen Lucas

Assistant Referee 1: James Tesoriero

Assistant Referee 2: Andrej Giev

Fourth Official: Luke Withell

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 702 ABC Sydney & ABC Local Radio NSW, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Crocmedia A-League Live (, SEN Radio, EON Sports Radio (, Coast FM 96.3

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvCCM

To purchase tickets visit

Bernie Ibini and Graham Arnold at Sydney FC training during the 2014/15 season.

Sydney FC squad: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 3.Riley WOODCOCK, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Bobô, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Sebastian RYALL, 23.Rhyan GRANT

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 3.Riley WOODCOCK (promoted), 11.Bernie IBINI (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 16.George TIMOTHEOU, 19.George BLACKWOOD (international duty)

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6.Blake POWELL, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Mickael TAVARES, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 15.Brad McDONALD, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 25.Ryan PETERSON

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 7.Fabio FERREIRA (return from injury), 15.Brad McDONALD (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 16.Liam Rose (international duty – 3 weeks), 23.Jake Adelson (ACL – indefinite)

Mariners' Fabio Ferriera takes the field against Melbourne City in Round 20.


Okon’s magic appears to already be rubbing off on the Mariners. 

Okay, it was only 45 minutes but the signs in the second half against Perth last weekend are promising.

If they were 3-0 down last season, it probably would have ended in a defeat. But they showed character, spirit and quality to fight back and claim a draw.

And oh how those Mariners fan love a team with grit and determination. 

A win over the Sky Blues – a team they haven’t beaten in their last six attempts – would be a huge statement. It won’t be easy though.

Sydney FC laid down a huge marker with their Round 1 performance, crushing Western Sydney Wanderers.

Clinical, confident, powerful and slick. Graham Arnold has his side firing on all cylinders right now.

With a Westfield FFA Cup semi-final to come next week as well, it’s a good time to be a part of the Sky Blues revolution and they will be keen to keep the momentum rolling in front of their home fans.

There should be some added spice as well with Arnold, Alex Wilkinson and Matt Simon all former Mariners, while Mickael Tavares, Jacques Faty and Ivan Necevski travelled up the F3 in the off-season.

History and Round 1 form would point to a Sky Blues win but there’s a different feeling around the Mariners. 

Matt Simon


Hyundai A-League stats preview: Round 2


How good was Sydney’s front four on the opening weekend. The combination play – especially between Bobo and Filip Holosko – was stellar – while Milos Ninkovic and David Carney also shone brightly.

With Alex Brosque and Matt Simon both making impacts off the bench – and Bernie Ibini still to come back into the side – Arnie has so many different options at his disposal.

Brandon O’Neill and Josh Brillante are providing a strong base in midfield, and Rhyan Grant and Michael Zullo joining in from fullback means the Sky Blues are hard to contain.

For the Mariners, striker Roy O’Donovan lived up to his pre-season promise to score more goals with a double against Glory.

No doubt he would have enjoyed the service from pacy pair Connor Pain and Trent Buhagiar from wide areas, while Blake Powell looks a handy option at number 10.

With the firepower in both squads, there’s potentially plenty of goals at Allianz on Saturday.

Jacques Faty


Jacques Faty. The experienced central defender was hooked by coach Paul Okon at half-time against Glory after a forgettable 45 minutes. Will he get a chance to atone against his former club?


The Sky Blues were the most impressive performers of the opening weekend, a second half onslaught helping them demolish local rivals Western Sydney 4-0.

For the Mariners, they also saved their best for the second half, fighting back from a 3-0 deficit at the break to snatch a point against glory in the West.

That means between the two, they scored seven goals and all in the second half!


Sydney FC 3-2 Central Coast Mariners