Red & Black Football

Game Preview – WSWvCCM

The Wanderers return home to Spotless Stadium after what seems like an age, hosting the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday afternoon. Kick-off is currently scheduled for 5.00pm but may change subject to potential extreme heat forecasted this weekend.

The forecast has recently been revised. Here is the much more pleasant forecast from BoM as of 4:45 am EDT Friday 10 February 2017. Stay tuned and we’ll update you as we hear more.


This match is shaping up to be a must win game between two desperate teams. Returning from New Zealand with the much needed 3 points, the Wanderers will be looking to sure up their new top six spot with a good win at home. A win could also reignite hopes of climbing the ladder to secure a home final.

The Mariners, on the other hand, will be fighting for their season. Currently sitting 9th on 16 points, a win would put them level with Wellington and right in the mix for a 6th spot finish. Anything less could be the final nail in the coffin for their season.


The Preliminary squads are in and the Wanderers welcome back Mitch Nichols after being rested (possibly due to a minor injury) and Scott Neville who returns from suspension. Other squad news is that Jacob Melling is out indefinitely with a back injury.

Our predicted line-up with two to be omitted from the current squad is:


T.Antonis   M.Nichols   N.Martinez

Dimas.D (C)   K.Baccus

J.Clisby   R.Cornthwaite   J.Aspro   S.Neville

V.Janjetovic (GK)

Bench: B.Pinatares; J.Sotirio; R.Griffiths; B.Hamill; J.Tyson (GK)

The Mariners’ preliminary squad has been named as:

Central  Coast Mariners squad:  1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Blake POWELL, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING **two to be omitted**

What’s expected and things to look out for

The Wanderers have typically favoured a possession based attacking brand of football this season, and indeed last season as well. However, last week against the Phoenix the Wanderers had only 40% of the possession, even though Wellington went down to 10 men for the last 15 minutes of the match. With only 40% possession the Wanderers put away 3 chances and only conceded off a contentious penalty. It was arguably the Wanderers’ best performances of the season.

Image credit: Getty Images

This raises the question – will Popovic stick with this winning style or revert back to his preferred possession based football at home?

As much as it may be tempting to keep a winning formula, I think we can expect Popa to go back to possession based football. The Wanderers will likely look to retain possession and work the often shaky Mariners defence. We can expect a very attack minded Wanderers to continually press the Mariners into their own half and look to unlock their defence with quick passing around the box. Nico, Baccus and Antonis will be crucial to this, as we’ve seen in recent weeks.

Image thanks to Qaurrie Sports Photography

The Mariners will likely be forced to do what they did in our last 1-1 draw at Spotless and attempt to absorb the pressure and catch the Wanderers on the counter. O’Donovan and Pain are arguably their best chances for this and the real dangers. The other, believe it or not, could be former Wanderer Kwabena Apiah. With his pace, and finally getting on a scoresheet last week, he could prove deadly in a counter-attack.


The first match, at Spotless, ended 1-1; the second, in Gosford, was a 1-4 win to the Wanderers.

Ultimately, the match will turn on whether the Wanderers can capitalise on their chances and also be alert at the back for counter-attacks. With renewed confidence and everything to play for, this could very well be the Wanderers’ first ever win at Olympic Park.

Image thanks to Qaurrie Sports Photography

Predicted Score: 4-0 – Wanderers to win

Predicted Man of the Match: Terry Antonis

Let us know your predictions below.



QSP images – All Rights Reserved | (c) Quarrie Sports Photography

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