The A-League’s top-two leading scorers will feature in a clash between A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners and ninth-placed Wellington Phoenix tonight in Gosford. We’ll have live scores and commentary from 7.00pm AEDT.
Current leading scorer Danny McBreen (14 goals) and Jeremy Brockie (11 goals) will be the men to watch in what could prove to be an intriguing match-up.
The Mariners’ strong form has slowed somewhat with three draws in the last four weeks while the Phoenix won last week against Perth, ending a five-game losing streak.
Last weekend the Mariners drew 2-2 with rivals Brisbane, holding a narrow three-point lead over the rest of the competition and they will hope to improve that in this game.
Wellington’s season is not yet in dire straits, as they are only one point behind sixth place – and a spot in the finals – eight weeks away from the end of the season.
If Wellington manages to salvage their season, it will be the fourth year in a row that the team has made the finals.
In their last game in Wellington in round 12, the Mariners controled possession (54 percent ) and chances (17 shots to Wellington’s 9), and McBreen scored a tap-in right before halftime.
Thanks to a late equaliser from Dani Sanchez (and some rare poor defending from the Mariners) the final result was 1-1.
The first game of the season between these teams also featured a goal from Danny McBreen and very poor finishing from Wellington (who were unable to record a shot on target in the whole match) with the Central Coast winning 1-0.
Last week a report came out that the Central Coast had investment interest from a number of Asian syndicates – reports that could be interpreted as either desperation from a cash-strapped club or a promising opportunity for the Mariners to get fiscally stable (a stability that might stop the sale of young talent that could help the Mariners to that elusive title).
Meanwhile, the focus in Wellington has been on the debut of two new players last week.
Central defender Ian Hogg, who looked impressive against Perth and midfielder Isaka Cernak, recently purchased from Melbourne Victory.
Both players have the opportunity to carve out a starting role with strong performances against the Mariners.
Keep an eye on the form of Phoenix keeper Mark Paston in this game – the New Zealand national keeper is only two saves behind the current A-League leader in saves (Ante Covic).
Also, Dutch international Patrick Zwaanswijk of the Mariners had a man-of-the-match performance in the last game between these teams. If he has another top game, it’s going to be very difficult for Wellington to win on the road.
Join us for live commentary on The Roar from 7.00pm AEDT.