• FT

    Melbourne V

    1

    Perth Glory

    0

  • FT

    CC Mariners

    2

    Adelaide Utd

    1

AUSTRALIAN A-LEAGUE

Central Coast Stadium, Australia

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Central Coast Mariners

  • Joshua Rose 45'
  • Nick Montgomery 76'

2 - 1

FT

Adelaide United

  • Bruce Djite 17'

Arnold hails Adelaide's A-League depth

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold believes surprise pacesetters Adelaide United boast the A-League's best squad and will continue to take the competition by storm.

Despite Adelaide counterpart John Kosmina claiming the Reds are competition underdogs, their early-season charge comes as no surprise to Arnold ahead of Saturday's top-of-the-table clash in Gosford.

The Mariners mentor said no other club enjoyed the same depth across their 23-man squad, which made them a dangerous proposition at Bluetongue Stadium where both sides will be missing their goalkeepers and in-form playmakers.

"It's a test of depth," Arnold said.

"They have got a very strong squad. They've probably got the strongest squad in the league over 23 players.

"They're a strong side and they're a resilient team and Kossie has got them functioning very well.

"A lot of people are waiting for them to slow up a bit because of the ACL (Asian Champions League campaign) but the way Kossie has been rotating players in and out and freshening them up, I think they'll be there for the long haul."

Highlighting Adelaide's depth, Kosmina has benched Argentine import Jeronimo Neumann and chosen Bruce Djite to start up front ahead of former A-League golden boot Sergio van Dijk.

The Reds have conceded just five goals in eight matches to sit two points clear of the Mariners but face a new challenge without goalkeeper and captain Eugene Galekovic.

While Kosmina has confidently replaced injured duo Dario Vidosic and Marcelo Carrusca with Fabian Barbiero and Zenon Caravella, he's yet to decide on which young stopper - Paul Izzo or John Hall - will start.

Kosmina has left the decision up to goalkeeping coach Peter Blazincic.

Central Coast also have their keeper, Mat Ryan, on Socceroos duty in Hong Kong but have an experienced back-up in Justin Pasfield to call on.

Arnold does have his own dilemma in defence however with classy Dutchman Patrick Zwaanswijk returning from suspension.

Zwaanswijk would be an automatic choice but Zac Anderson's strong performance in the 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar and a Gosford heatwave could mean the veteran is benched.

"Patrick doesn't handle the heat too well," Arnold said.

Boom Socceroos selection Tomas Rogic is the player the Mariners are set to miss most with Adriano Pellegrino and Bernie Ibini lining up to replace the young No.10.

With temperatures expected to soar on Saturday afternoon, Arnold has called for commonsense from the FFA to delay the 5.30pm (AEDT) kickoff if conditions are dangerous.

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