Hyundai A-League preview: Jets v Glory

An in-form Jets outfit, fresh from upsetting the Roar last week, are pushing for a top four finish but won’t have it all their own way when bogey side Glory visit the Hunter on Sunday afternoon.

MATCH DETAILS

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory

McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

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

Referee: Stephen Lucas

Assistant Referee 1: Lance Greenshields

Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero

Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 1 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 1233 ABC Newcastle, ABC Radio Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live

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

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, 9.Aleksandr KOKKO, 10.Wayne BROWN, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 18.MA Leilei, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 28.John KOUTROUMBIS, 30.Pierce CLARK (gk)
**one to be omitted**

Aleksandr Kokko has finalised a move to Hong Kong from Newcastle Jets

Ins: 9.Aleksandr KOKKO (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles – season), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee – 1-3 weeks), 13.Ivan VUJICA (hamstring – 3-5 weeks), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season)

Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13.Nicholas FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joe MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Aryn WILLIAMS, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Kosta PETRATOS, 24.Milan SMILJANIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Brandon Wilson

Ins: 3.Marc WARREN (promoted), 15.Brandon WILSON

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 6.Dino DJULBIC (suspended – 1 match), 18.Mitch OXBORROW (foot – 3 weeks)

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

Newcastle Jets fans have been starved of success in recent years with the club having failed to make the top six for six consecutive seasons.

But with Newcastle sitting in sixth spot heading into the second half of the season and playing some impressive football, long-suffering supporters are daring to dream of a return to the Finals Series.

Mark Jones’ side comes into this clash on the back of a stunning 3-2 upset over Brisbane Roar in the Queensland capital, with a stirring second-half comeback inspiring the Jets to a memorable victory.

And with three wins and a draw from their past five games, Newcastle enter this clash as one of the form teams in the competition.

Crucially, one of those wins was against the Glory in Perth just over a month ago, a dominant performance which helped spark Newcastle’s turnaround in fortunes.

Jets v Glory

Conversely, Glory make the journey east following a scrappy 2-1 win over the Phoenix at home, a result which helped arrest a six-game winless run.

Kenny Lowe’s side have shown glimpses of their best this season but injuries and inconsistency have cruelled the Glory’s season to date.

For a side laden with talent and tipped to feature heavily in the Finals Series, four wins from 14 games is not an acceptable return.

Fortunately, the Glory remain in the top six (5th on 17 points) and can put a gap on sixth-placed Newcastle (16 points) with a win at McDonald Jones Stadium.

And Perth will be confident of getting a result with Lowe’s side remaining undefeated in their past seven visits to Newcastle (five wins, two draws).

Glory players celebrate a goal

OPTA DATA

  • Newcastle Jets are on target with 41.8% of their shots on goal from outside the 18-yard box this season, the most accurate of any team in the competition.
  • Perth Glory have scored five headed goals this season, the equal-most of any team alongside Melbourne City.
  • Andrew Hoole enjoys a shooting accuracy of 80% so far this season, the best of any player to have attempted at least 20 shots at goal.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Newcastle’s two Andrews – Nabbout and Hoole – have been simply outstanding over the past month and have been instrumental in the Jets’ turnaround in form.

Former Victory flyer Nabbout has been one of the buys of the season with his pace, trickery and finishing ability a joy to watch over the first half of the season.

The 24-year-old has contributed four goals and three assists in 11 games this season and he is being ably supported by Hoole who has chipped in with four goals, including a stunner against the Roar last week.

Andrew Nabbout did his best to get the home fans on their feet when he scored his third goal of the campaign.

Classy Dane Morten Nordstrand appears to be back to his best while tall striker Aleksandr Kokko is back to fitness after a frustrating run of injuries.

For the Glory, Socceroo Adam Taggart will be keen for a big game against his old club and he comes into the clash in form after scoring the winner against the Phoenix last weekend.

The 23-year-old admitted he is "loving" football again after an injury-riddled 24 months overseas. "Taggs", a former Jets hero after his Golden Boot of 2014, has been a regular contributor for Kenny Lowe’s side with five goals in nine appearances this season.

Andy Keogh remains the Glory’s top scorer with seven but has failed to find the target in his last five matches and will be desperate to get on the scoresheet.

Johnny Warren Medalist Diego Castro missed the clash between the two sides last month and could be crucial with his composure and dribbling ability adding another dimension to Glory’s attack in recent weeks.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Josh Risdon. The Caltex Socceroos defender has rejected a contract extension with the Glory and will move on at season’s end.