Tony Walmsley is backing his Central Coast side to give Sydney FC "a good shake" on Boxing Day, and Sky Blues skipper Alex Brosque is certainly expecting them to try.
Both sides will have much to play for at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
The Mariners are dead last on the table with 10 winless matches on the trot.
Sydney, meanwhile, are in a far more favourable fourth place but with only a sole win from their past seven attempts.
Their last meeting came in round four in Gosford, where former Mariner Matt Simon haunted his former club with a match-winning brace.
But Simon's goals came late and with Central Coast already down to 10 men, key factors in Walmsley's optimism that the imminent rematch has the potential to bear fruits.
"If it's anything like we tackled them last time and we can keep 11 men on the pitch, then we might give them a good shake," Walmsley said on Sunday after the Mariners' 1-0 loss to Brisbane.
Brosque said Sydney would not underestimate the unfancied Mariners but would also be ready for anything they could throw at them.
That included the possibility that they might forego their signature all-out attacking style in favour of an uncharacteristically defensive approach as they did against the Roar.
"They're coming to our ground, so I imagine they will play that way," Brosque told AAP.
"Initially early on, their whole emphasis was on playing good football and not worrying too much about results.
"But I think as the season goes on that changes - you sort of start demanding results.
"They'll probably come here and sit back and try and get us on the counter-attack, so we have to be very smart with the way we attack.
"Just because of where they are on the ladder I don't think they're an easy team to beat.
"They made it difficult for us last time, and a team like that always has a point to prove.
"But in all fairness our defence has been fantastic.
"As long as the front boys start putting the ball in the back of the net, then I think we'll be okay."
Brosque was confident he'd be fit to return for the match, having sat out the last two with a hamstring strain.
He joined the team for an easy training session on Monday, and hoped to complete Wednesday's full session.