In their second meeting within the space of 10 days, Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets go head to head at the Central Coast Stadium on Wednesday.
Having suffered a 2-1 loss in their most recent encounter, the hosts will head into the midweek matchup seeking to get one over the Jets and extend their position in the top half of the table.
Central Coast Mariners returned to winning ways in style as they fought back from behind to claim a 2-1 victory over a resilient Sydney FC side last Saturday.
After Paulo Retre opened the scoring in the 11th minute to put the Sky Blues ahead, the hosts upped the ante as Marco Tulio and Daniel Hall netted in a three-minute spell to turn the game on its head.
Nick Montgomery’s men were previously on a run of two consecutive defeats, losing 3-2 against Macarthur FC on November 13 which saw their two-game winning streak come to an end before falling to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Newcastle Jets on December 11.
Central Coast Mariners have now picked up three wins, one draw and lost three of their seven matches to collect 10 points and sit fifth in the A-League table, six points off first-placed Melbourne City albeit with one game in hand.
Newcastle Jets, on the other hand, were sent crashing down to earth as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Brisbane Roar when the sides squared off last Friday.
Following a drab first half at the McDonald Jones Stadium, former Adelaide United forward Nikola Mileusnic netted the only goal of the game in the 80th minute to hand the Roar just their second win of the season.
Prior to that, Arthur Papastamatis’s men ended their run of three consecutive defeats when they saw off Wednesday’s hosts 2-1 two weeks ago courtesy of goals in either half from Trent Buhagiar and Beka Mikeltadze.
With nine points from seven matches, Newcastle Jets are currently 10th in the league standings, but could potentially rise as high as fourth place with all three points on Wednesday.
However, the Jets will be backing themselves to return to winning ways as they journey to the Central Coast Stadium, where they are unbeaten in seven of their last nine visits, claiming five wins and two draws since October 2017.
Central Coast Mariners will be without Matheus Moresche, who has been out of action since May through a cruciate ligament rupture.
Tulio opened his account for the season with his strike against Sydney FC last time out and the former Sporting Lisbon man could be rewarded with another starting role by Montgomery.
At the opposite end of the pitch, we expect to see an unchanged back four of Storm Roux, Hall, Brian Kaltack and Australian full-back Jacob Farrell shielding veteran Danny Vukovic between the sticks.
Meanwhile, Newcastle Jets head into the midweek clash with a clean bill of health and no suspension concerns, giving Papastamatis the luxury of a full-strength squad at his disposal.
Off the back of another toothless display in attack, the 42-year-old head coach could ring a few changes in the final third, with experienced Jaushua Sotirio pushing for a place in the XI.
Central Coast Mariners possible starting lineup:
Vukovic; Roux, Hall, Kaltack, Farrell; Kuol, Nisbet, Balard, Nkololo; Cummings, Tulio
Newcastle Jets possible starting lineup:
Duncan; Jenkinson, Jurman, Natta, Ingham; Thurgate, O’Neill; Sotirio, Dartsmelia, Stynes; Mikeltadze