A-League preview panel – Finals week 3

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    Preview panel for week three of the A-League finals.

    SATURDAY, April 14
    Grand final qualifier

    Head-to-head: Mariners 13 Glory 3 Drawn 5
    This season:
    March 11, 2012: Glory 1 bt Mariners 0 at nib Stadium
    Dec 23, 2011: Mariners 3 bt Glory 1 at nib Stadium
    Oct 29, 2011: Mariners 2 bt Glory 1 at Bluetongue Stadium
    TAB Sportsbet: Mariners $2.10, draw $3.30, Glory $3.30

    Minor premiers Central Coast will be desperate to get another crack at arch rivals Brisbane Roar in the grand final but an in-form Perth are threatening to spoil the party. While the Mariners have a strong record against the Glory, the westerners appear to have plenty in their favour. They’ve been keen to point out the pressure is all on the table-topping Mariners and confidence is soaring among Ian Ferguson’s squad after three straight wins. Both sides should be virtually full strength but the Mariners have had a much heavier schedule due to the Asian Champions League, though coach Graham Arnold insists he’d rather be playing than risk losing rhythm. Shane Smeltz wasn’t among the scorers in the Glory’s minor semi-final defeat of Wellington but remains the biggest threat with seven goals in three games. The Mariners’ hopes could rest on how young stars like Tom Rogic, Mustafa Amini and Bernie Ibini handle the pressure of the big occasion.

    Key: Defence has been the key to the Mariners’ successful season but copping five goals in two games against the Roar shows they have some holes to plug against the Smeltz-led Glory.
    Tip: Mariners

    * Winner faces Brisbane Roar in A-League grand final at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, April 22 at 4pm AEST.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • April 13th 2012 @ 8:46am
      daniel said | April 13th 2012 @ 8:46am | ! Report

      Even as a Glory fan I am inclined to agree with the panel and think that CCM should have this one in the bag. I am happy to accept that Glory was the third best team in the competition this year.

      That said, the longer this game goes, the more I see Glory’s chances improving. An extra time winner would not be unrealistic. Not sure how I feel about penalties as they could go either way. Glory have a bit more experience, but the loss of Sterj means we can really only rely on Smeltz and Burns as two guaranteed penalty goals. After that, we could well miss. Very excited about the game though. Its great to be back at the right end of the table.

      • April 13th 2012 @ 11:42am
        Nathan of Perth said | April 13th 2012 @ 11:42am | ! Report

        Yeah, missing Sterj as a spot-kick taker in these finals.

        Should be Central Coast’s game to lose. It would be a tremendous choke if they drop this.

    • April 13th 2012 @ 5:40pm
      BES said | April 13th 2012 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

      2 comments both from Perth supporters and both seemingly already thrown in the towel!?

      If that is the feeling in the west, then the game is already done and dusted.

      You guys really need to find a bit more one-eyed blind belief and fire your team on. As a Brisbane supporter, we’re getting pretty bored watching CCM lose to us again and again and again and again and…… đŸ˜‰

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