Hyundai A-League preview: Jets v Mariners

Newcastle and Central Coast are both on five points ahead of this season’s first F3 Derby. And depending on other results, the winner could move into the six. All to play for at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners

McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

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

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro

Assistant Referee 1: Lance Greenshields

Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

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

Radio Broadcast: 1233 ABC Newcastle & 92.5 Central Coast, Online and via the ABC Radio Phone App, EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com), Coast FM 96.3

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #F3Derby

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au

Newcastle Jets squad: 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 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, 18.MA Leilei, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 23.Devante CLUT, 28.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 30.Pierce CLARK (gk)

**one to be omitted**

Ins: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (returns from injury), 18.MA Leilei (promoted), 30.Pierce CLARK (gk) (returns from injury)

Newcastle Jets have completed the signing of Chinese midfielder Ma Leilei.

Outs: 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (knee – 6 weeks), 40.Jim FOGARTY (gk) (short-term contract ended)

Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles – season), 2.Daniel MULLEN (knee – 5-7 weeks), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (ankle – 3-4 weeks)

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Blake POWELL, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O”DONOVAN, 10.Mickael TAVARES, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 5.Harry ASCROFT (return from injury), 13.Kwabena APPIAH (promoted), 17.Josh BINGHAM (promoted)

Harry Ascroft

Outs: 19.Jacques FATY (knee – 1 week)

Unavailable: 23.Jake Adelson (ACL – indefinite), 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (quad strain – 1 week) 

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

With Newcastle and Central Coast having claimed just one win each in the first six rounds of the season both sides will be desperate to bank three points in the Hunter on Sunday.

Recent history won't play much on the minds of Mark Jones and Paul Okon as they prepare for their first F3 Derby as head coaches. It won’t be an altogether new experience for the pair, either.

The Jets boss, himself a proud Novocastrian, will know all about the importance of this fixture from his time as an assistant at the club.

#NEWvSYD - Newcastle Jets are unbeaten in four Hyundai A-League games. The last time they enjoyed a longer run without defeat was in November 2013.

And in an intriguing sub-plot, when Jones started at the Jets ten years ago the club was captained by one Paul Okon.

In fact, last weekend marked exactly ten years since the former Caltex Socceroos captain led the Jets to a 3-1 F3 Derby win at the scene of this weekend’s clash.

Newcastle are the only team to have not conceded a goal in the final half hour of games this season.

It’s no surprise then that it’s their start of games that have let them down, with the Jets conceding the first goal in each of their last four fixtures.

That trend won’t be helped by their growing list of injured defenders, with skipper Nigel Boogaard the latest to join Daniel Mullen, Daniel Alessi and Lachlan Jackson on the sideline.

And depending on other results the winners could find themselves inside the top six at the end of the weekend. 

#F3Derby - Central Coast Mariners are on the hunt for back-to-back wins away from home in the Hyundai A-League for the first time since April 2013.

A reciprocal arrangement between the Jets and Mariners means that members from both clubs can attend an away F3 Derby free of charge this season.

So there’s no excuse for McDonald Jones Stadium not to be packed out on Sunday, as another chapter in this local rivalry is written.

OPTA DATA

Hyundai A-League Round 7 stats

ROUTE TO GOAL

The Jets have been fashioning their fair share of chances but have been let down by their profligacy in front of goal.

Nordstrand, Nabbout and Hoole were all guilty of spurning opportunities against City in the last round, with this clash crying out for one of that trio to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

Andrew Nabbout

Central Coast have shown themselves to be slow starters this season with all six they’ve scored coming in the second half.

Irishman Roy O’Donovan has half of the total tally and he looked the most likely in a disappointing showing against a depleted Phoenix outfit last weekend at GIO Stadium in the nation's capital. 

With the Jets also experiencing plenty of outs at the moment the Mariners attack have been presented with a glorious chance to immediately rectify that performance in Canberra last week. 

Fabio Ferreria, Blake Powell and Connor Pain all have plenty of Hyundai A-League experience so there’ll be no excuses if they once again fire blanks.

Connor Pain's stunning strike helped the Mariners claim their first win of the season.

WHO’S BEEN IN SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Morten Nordstrand. The Dane’s highlights reel features some audacious finishes but his effort from a couple of yards out against City last week certainly won’t make the cut.

No doubt Nordstrand will have been reminded of his miss by teammates during the week and will be desperate to make amends in front of the home fans.

FORM LINES

Newcastle Jets: WDLLL

Central Coast Mariners: LLDWL

PREDICTION

Newcastle Jets 1 – 1 Central Coast Mariners