Gosford challenge relished by Roar

Brisbane Roar will aim to secure their first back-to-back wins of the Hyundai A-League season when they take on Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday.

Brisbane Roar will aim to secure their first back-to-back wins of the Hyundai A-League season when they take on Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday.

The Roar has an exceptional record at the Gosford venue, having never lost a match there with nine wins and four draws since the inception of the competition in 2005.

But the Mariners have been in fine form in the season-s opening seven fixtures and now sit second on the ladder with 14 points and 13 goals, the highest goal tally of any club.

After last week-s morale-boosting 4-2 win over Sydney FC at home, Brisbane Roar Head Coach Rado Vidosic said another high profile fixture was the perfect tonic to continue his side-s momentum.

He knew it wouldn-t be easy against the reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers, despite the loss of their captain and influential defender Patrick Zwaanswijk to a one-match suspension.

“You get those teams that you really enjoy playing against and Central Coast Mariners are probably the ones we like playing away against more than anyone else,” he said.

“But that-s history, it-s all in the past and it-s a new season.

“They have continued where they left off last year - they-re hard to break down and solid in defence.”

One of Brisbane-s newest recruits Ben Halloran, who has watched the battles between his new club and the Mariners from afar in recent years, gave his thoughts about the ever-fierce rivalry between the two teams.

“They-re both passionate, proud clubs that are at the top of the table come the end of the season,” he said.

“There-s a lot of history and we-ll be going at each other on Sunday.”

Yesterday, Halloran was picked in Qantas Socceroos Head Coach Holger Osieck-s provisional 25-man squad for next month-s East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) East Asian Cup 2013, alongside club captain Matt Smith and defender Ivan Franjic.

The youngster was adamant the national team selection wouldn-t distract him from the task at hand on Saturday saying if anything, it could prove as a confidence boost for both him and the Roar side.

“I can use that as motivation for Sunday,” he said.

“I-ll go into the Central Coast game with a bit more confidence and that can only be a benefit.

“I don-t think it matters who we play each week considering how our form has been but if you can beat Central Coast at Bluetongue then you-re heading in the right direction.”

Sunday, 25 November 2012 Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar Venue: Bluetongue Stadium Kick off: 5:00 PM Referee: Chris Beath

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and delayed broadcast on Sky Sport 3.

ABC Radio broadcast: Updates only

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvROAR

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 5. Zachary Anderson, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 8. Adriano Pellegrino, 9. Bernie Ibini, 10. Tomas Rogic, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 13. Brent Griffiths, 14. Michael McGlinchey, 15. Brad McDonald, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 17. Anthony Caceres, 18. Nick Montgomery, 19. Mitchell Duke, 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk), 21. Mile Sterjovski, 23. Adam Kwasnik *Five to be omitted*

Ins: 11. Oliver Bozanic, 13. Brent Griffiths, 15. Brad McDonald, 17. Anthony Caceres, 19. Mitchell Duke, 23. Adam Kwasnik (all promoted)

Outs: 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk (suspended - 1 week)

Unavailable:22. James Oates (ankle - 2 months)

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theo (GK), 2. Matt Smith (capt.), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paartalu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique, 11. Ben Halloran, 13. Yuji Takahashi, 14. Rocky Visonte, 16. Do Dong-Hyun, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Matt Acton (GK), 22. Thomas Broich, 24. Nick Fitzgerald *four to be omitted*

Ins: Rocky Visconte (promoted), Do Dong-Hyun (promoted), Mitch Nichols (returns from injury), Yuji Takahashi (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil