Graham Arnold coach of the Mariners sits on the bench during the AFC Champions League Group H match between Kashiwa Reysol and Central Coast Mariners at Hitachi Kashiwa Soccer Stadium on March 13, 2013 in Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan.
Graham Arnold coach of the Mariners sits on the bench during the AFC Champions League Group H match between Kashiwa Reysol and Central Coast Mariners at Hitachi Kashiwa Soccer Stadium on March 13, 2013 in Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan. Adam Pretty / Getty Images

Mariners will again face Guizhou Renhe without star players

THE Central Coast Mariners will be without a host of stars for tonight's AFC Champions League match against Chinese side Guizhou Renhe in Guiyang.

With one eye on Sunday's A-League semi-final against Melbourne Victory, coach Graham Arnold has left Josh Rose, Patrick Zwaanswijk, Michael McGlinchey, Daniel McBreen, Pedj Bojic and Nick Montgomery at home.

The Mariners of course beat Guizhou 2-1 at home last week, just the team's second victory in 15 AFC Champions League matches.

After a gruelling day of travel on Sunday that included a 10-hour flight to Guangzhou, a three-hour stopover, another two-hour flight and a one-hour bus ride, Arnold's squad will have had just one training session at the 52,000 capacity Guiyang Sports Centre ahead of tonight's match.

The good news is that a win tonight will guarantee the Mariners a place in the knockout phase of the competition for the first time in the club's history.

 

Mariners squad

  • Mathew Ryan
  • Zac Anderson
  • John Hutchinson (c)
  • Adriano Pellegrino
  • Bernie Ibini
  • Oliver Bozanic
  • Brent Griffiths
  • Brad McDonald
  • Trent Sainsbury
  • Anthony Caceres
  • Mitchell Duke
  • Justin Pasfield
  • Hayden Morton
  • Michael Neill
  • Nick Fitzgerald

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