After their drought-breaking win in Perth last weekend, Newcastle Jets return home to face the desperate champions who need a spark to revive their flagging season. An intriguing battle awaits in Harvey Norman Friday Night Football.
Friday, 16 December 2016
Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS VICELAND from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand, Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio), EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvADL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 10.Wayne BROWN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 18.MA Leilei, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 24.Kristian BRYMORA, 28.John KOUTROUMBIS, 30.Pierce CLARK (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 19.Morten NORDSTRAND (returns from injury), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (returns from injury)
Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles – season), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee – indefinite), 9.Aleksandr KOKKO (jaw – 1 week), 23.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 7.HENRIQUE, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergi GUARDIOLA, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 14.George MELLS, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Ryan KITTO, 25.James HOLLAND
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Michael MARRONE (promoted), 8.ISAÍAS (returns from suspension)
Unavailable: 18.Riley McGREE (ankle – TBA), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season), 24.Jordan O'DOHERTY (ankle – 2 weeks)
This time last week, Newcastle Jets’ 2016/17 Season appeared in free-fall and talk of finals football seemed fanciful.
But their triumph over Perth Glory snapped a seven-game winless run and Mark Jones’ men are now just two points outside the top six.
With back-to-back home games to come – both against opposition below them on the ladder – the Jets have a huge opportunity to make a run further up the ladder.
They are starting to get a few key players back from injury and there is already talk of possible attacking reinforcements once the transfer window opens in January.
The Jets were excellent value for their 2-1 win over Glory – their first in 11 years in Perth – but must build on that against an Adelaide side under siege and sure to be up for the fight.
Gui Amor’s troops were crushed 4-0 against Brisbane Roar last Sunday to drop back to the foot of the ladder.
Just when it seemed the champions were about to embark on another mid-season resurgence, they came crashing back down with a thud.
Time is running out for the Reds to mount a serious title defence. As skipper Eugene Galekovic said this week, every game from here on in will be like a final for them.
The two sides played out a 1-1 draw at McDonald Jones Stadium back in the opening round of the season.
Who will come out on top on Harvey Norman Friday night football?
ROUTE TO GOAL
Adelaide has struggled for a cutting edge in front of goal all season. They’ve managed just nine goals for the campaign and have had just four different scorers.
It’s not good enough for a side which has – last Sunday aside – been in every match this season.
In fact, they had more shots, more possession and a staggering 19 corners to three against Roar, but were still on the wrong end of a 4-0 result.
Unless they can discover a more ruthless streak in and around the box, it’s hard to see their results improving.
Sergi Guardiola and Henrique (three goals) have been their best contributors but Amor needs to get more out of the likes of Carrusca, Holland, Kitto and co.
The return from suspension of Isaias is a boost to add some punch and creativity from midfield (not to mention a threat goal threat from set pieces).
Newcastle’s attack has only been slightly better than their counterparts but there were some encouraging signs in the West last weekend.
The Jets carved out a host of chances to register an even bigger win, only to be guilty of poor finishing or denied by the impressive Liam Reddy in goal.
The young attacking triumvirate of Nabbout, Hoole and Clut was full of purpose, speed and quality. If that trio can continue to improve their combination play, the Jets could cause plenty of problems.
Finding a consistent scorer appears the main problem for Jones, with no player in the squad managing more than two goals for the campaign.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Eugene Galekovic. The Reds skipper will want a big performance after conceding four times last week. Despite sitting last, "Euge" is adamant Adelaide’s season can still be saved.