Hyundai A-League preview: Jets v Adelaide

How will new Jets coach Mark Jones, in the job just a few weeks, set out his side? That’s the burning question for the reigning champions who kick off their title defence in the Hunter on Sunday.

Sunday 9 October 2016

Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United

Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT))

Referee: Alan Milliner

Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher

Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 1233 ABC Newcastle, ABC Local Radio SA, Grandstand Digital & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, EON Sports Radio ( eonsportsradio.com )

Andrew Hoole

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), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Aleksandr KOKKO, 10.Wayne BROWN, 11.Labinot HALITI, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 30.Pierce CLARK (gk)
**two to be omitted**

Ins: Nil

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles – indefinite), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (c) (gk), 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 7.HENRIQUE, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergi GUARDIOLA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 13.Marc MARINO, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Ryan KITTO, 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 25.James HOLLAND

**two to be omitted**

James Holland.

Ins: Nil

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 2.Michael MARRONE (achilles – 12 weeks), 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (foot – 7 weeks), 14.George MELLS (international duty – 4 weeks), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC (quad – 6 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season)

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

It’s been a blighted off-season for the defending champions.

Five key players departed a disastrous FFA Cup loss to an NPL side followed by injury to key man Marcelo Carrusca who'll miss the first couple of months of action. Add defender Jordan Elsey to the long-term injury list and some patchy trial game results and it’s not been a pretty few months for the Playford-based club. 

But there are some high-quality signings set to write a new chapter in the club’s history, such as strikers Henrique, Sergi Guardiola and former Jets player James Holland. 

The Reds’ new central midfielder last played in Newcastle some eight years ago as a rising star at the club before heading abroad.

Sergio Guardiola.

For the Jets, it's been a rollercoaster, too. 

They parted ways with coach Scott Miller last month. Local coaching identity Mark Jones, who, ironically, was working in a youth technical development role at Adelaide United, was given the job a few weeks ago.

The Jets have had excellent form in pre-season games, toured China, lost in the FFA Cup and seen new club owners installed. 

So for both clubs, it's been a rollercoaster few months. But a win to open the season and all that will be forgotten. 

Hyundai A-League Rd 1 Opta Stats preview

ROUTE TO GOAL

There’s a lot to like about the Jets’ front five.  In fact, it’s very good. Kokko central with Nordstrand in behind and the two Andrews, Hoole and Nabbout plus Devante Clut as the playmaker.

Newcastle's Danish striker Morten Nordstrand celebrates one of his two goals against Wellington in Round 20.

For the Reds, it’ll be fascinating to see if they use Henrique as a super-sub or a starter. And how will Sergi Guardiola perform if he makes his Australian debut?

Plenty of firepower on display for both sides this Sunday. 

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Mark Jones. The new Jets coach has had to hit the ground running but he’s not panicking and has a vision for the future. 

Jones: Jets can be A-League's Arsenal

FORM LINES

The Jets, despite all the turmoil, have scorched through pre-season winning matches for fun, but were knocked out of the FFA Cup by Melbourne Victory in the Round of 32.

The Reds were knocked out of the FFA Cup, too, in one of the biggest shocks in Cup history. Their trial game results have been patchy but is it an indicator of season form? Probably not. 

PREDICTION

Newcastle Jets 3-2 Adelaide United 

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