Preview: Queensland Roar v Central Coast Mariners

Queensland is looking to preserve its strong record over the Mariners, with both teams searching for their first wins of the season.

Date: Sunday August 31
Kick-off: 5:00pm AEST
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 3 and Sky Sports 3. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner Coast FM (Gosford) 96.3FM

Nine A-League meetings: Queensland – 3 wins, Central Coast – 1 win, Draws – 5

Previous meeting
Queensland Roar 2 Central Coast Mariners 1, Suncorp Stadium, Round 16, December 2007

Results so far
Round 1: Wellington Phoenix 1, Queensland Roar 1, Westpac Stadium
Round 2: Queensland Roar 1, Adelaide United 1, Suncorp Stadium

Central Coast:
Round 1: Newcastle Jets 1, Central Coast Mariners 1, EnergyAustralia Stadium
Round 1: Central Coast Mariners 2, Sydney FC 3, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium

Queensland is looking to preserve its strong record over the Mariners, with both teams searching for their first wins of the season. For teams which finished second and third last season, they would have hoped to have already put a mark in the win column and this looms as an important game.

Queensland has been solid but unspectacular in the first fortnight of the season, taking a point away to Wellington and at home to Adelaide. Charlie Miller has made a considerable impression, scoring in both games, including the equaliser against the Reds last week. While he may lack the flair of team-mates Reinaldo and Sergio van Dijk, the Scotsman is very good at getting the job done. That’s something the Roar have missed in recent years.

Craig Moore shrugged off an injury to take his place last week, and will be better off this week, while in a boost for Queensland, Robbie Kruse returns along with Andrew Packer, Luke DeVere and Chris Grossman. There are no outs and Frank Farina will make four omissions from his squad on match day.

Central Coast has held the whip hand at stages in both of its games this season. Newcastle needed a last-minute penalty to get points off it in the season opener, while the game against Sydney looked the Mariners’ for the taking when Stuart Musialik was given his marching orders midway through the second half. But instead of capitalising on the man advantage, the Mariners conceded a goal and emerged with nothing except a harsh lesson on not taking your chances when they are there.

Sasho Petrovski continued to show his younger team-mates the way and he was responsible for both goals last week, including a cracking effort which pulled them level 2-2. Lawrie McKinna’s concern is at the other end of the park, with four goals conceded in two games.

Danny Vukovic starts serving his five-match suspension this week and Mark Bosnich is likely to make his starting debut. In a big boost for the Mariners, imposing midfielder Mile Jedinak is back from injury along with striker Dylan Macallister. Andrew Redmayne and Paul O’Grady are included in a 17-man squad. The Mariners aren’t sure when they’ll get back key trio Andre Gumprecht (knee), Dean Heffernan (leg) and Greg Owens (hamstring).

Queensland Roar Squad: 1 Liam REDDY (gk), 2 Andrew PACKER, 3 Luke DEVERE, 4 Craig MOORE, 5 Josh McCLOUGHAN, 6 Dave DODD, 7 Michael ZULLO, 8 Massimo MURDOCCA, 9 Sergio VAN DIJK, 10 Charlie MILLER, 11 Reinaldo, 13 Chris GROSSMAN, 14 Ben GRIFFIN, 15 Matt McKAY, 16 Hyuk-Su SEO, 18 Danny TIATTO, 20 Griffin McMASTER (rgk), 22 Robbie KRUSE, 23 Tim SMITS.
*four to be omitted.

In. Andrew PACKER (returns from injury), Luke DEVERE (returns from national team duty), Chris GROSSMAN, Robbie KRUSE.

Out. Nil.

Unavailable. 19 Isaka CERNAK (injured).

Central Coast Mariners Squad: 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Bradley PORTER, 6. David D’APUZZO, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 9. Nik MRDJA, 10. Adrian CACERES, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 13. Paul O’GRADY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 17. Matthew OSMAN, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON, 21. Ahmad ELRICH, 22. Sasho PETROVSKI, 23. Mile JEDINAK, 30. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 40. Mark BOSNICH (gk).
*three to be omitted.

In. 11. Dylan MACALLISTER (Returns from Injury), 13. Paul O’GRADY (Promoted), 23. Mile JEDINAK (Returns from Injury), 30. Andrew REDMAYNE (Returns from International Duty – Qantas Young Socceroos).

Out. 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk) (Suspended – 5 weeks).

Unavailable. 2. Andre GUMPRECHT (Knee – Indefinite), 8. Dean HEFFERNAN (Leg – Indefinite), 12. Greg OWENS (Hamstring – Indefinite).