Central Coast Mariners playmaker Michael McGlinchey will captain the side against Perth Glory on Monday in the absence of John Hutchinson.
Hutchinson is suspended for the New Year’s Eve encounter at Bluetongue Stadium, prompting Mariners coach Graham Arnold to hand New Zealand international McGlinchey the skipper’s armband.
McGlinchey joined Central Coast from Scottish giants Celtic in 2009 and was a shining light for the All Whites at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“I think Mikey is one of the best players in the A-League,” Arnold said on Sunday.
“He’s been to the World Cup, to the Olympics, he knows what pressure football is about.
“We need a little bit extra out of Mikey tomorrow night so hopefully the armband can help.”
Veteran defender Patrick Zwaanswijk has also been ruled out with a groin injury, while attackers Daniel McBreen and Tomas Rogic are both suspended.
“I was planning on making changes anyway to get some fresh legs into the side,” Arnold said.
“The forced changes have made it easier for me.
“Adam Kwasnik will come in. He’s had a few injuries and he’s a fan favourite here, and he’s always shown in the past that he’s a goal scorer.
“He’s looked sharp at training the last couple of weeks and he’s been eager for a chance, so he’ll get his opportunity.”
Arnold said former Glory midfielder Adriano Pellegrino and winger Oliver Bozanic were also likely to feature.
“Pelles has been a great pro,” Arnold added.
“He’s had some tough times here with the fact that he hasn’t started that often and he’s been on the bench at times.
“But he brings great energy to the team and I am sure against his old team he will have a good impact.
“Oli Bozanic has had a frustrating start to the season because of a knee injury in the off-season.
“He has got great pedigree and he has shown what he can do in the past. He knows what his job is.”
A crowd of more than 15,000 is expected in Gosford as the league-leading Mariners look to bounce back from a shock 1-0 loss to Sydney FC last time out.