Hyundai A-League preview: Jets v Wanderers

​The Jets are flying high after back-to-back wins but face a tricky task against an in-form Wanderers still buzzing from their first win of the campaign last week. Should be an absolute belter at Hunter Stadium.

MATCH DETAILS

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers FC

Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-Off: 5:15 PM (Local) (5:15 PM (AEDT))

Referee: Stephen Lucas

Assistant Referee 1: Leigh Pigram

Assistant Referee 2: Andrej Giev

Fourth Official: Trent Nash

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT)

#NEWvWSW

Radio Broadcast: 1233 Newcastle**, 702 ABC Sydney**, ABC Local Radio NSW**, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live

**after the completion of the cricket coverage

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

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets

Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Cameron WATSON, 7.Enver ALIVODIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 10.LEONARDO, 12.Andy BRENNAN, 13.Lee KI-JE, 14.Mitch COOPER, 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.David CARNEY, 24.Nick COWBURN, 29.Andrew PAWIAK

**Two to be omitted**

Newcastle Jets

Ins: 10.LEONARDO (returns from knee soreness), 12.Andy BRENNAN (promoted), 29.Andrew PAWIAK (promoted)

Outs: 2.Daniel MULLEN (knee – under assessment)

Unavailable: 11.Labinot HALITI (knee – indefinite)

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Romeo CASTELEN, 8.DIMAS, 9.Federico PIOVACCARI, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.ALBERTO, 18.ANDREU, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21.Jacob PEPPER, 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 33.Joshua MACDONALD

**Two to be omitted**

Romeo Castelen is set to spend a number of weeks on the sidelines.

Ins: 7.Romeo CASTELEN (return from injury), 33.Joshua MACDONALD (promoted)

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 2.Shannon COLE (groin – 1 week)

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

The Jets have been the surprise packets of the Hyundai A-League in 2015/16, with Scott Miller’s side winning three of their first four games to sit equal second.

The Novocastrians are flying after last week’s incredible 3-2 comeback win over City and will be confident of building on that momentum at home against Wanderers.

Newcastle’s solid defensive structure and work ethic have made it difficult for teams to break them down, with Miller’s side able to strike on the counter attack as well as hurt sides from set pieces.

Ben Kantarovsji celebrates scoring with Jets teammate Milos Trifunovic.

But the hosts will need to switch on from the outset against the Wanderers after falling two-goals down in the first half against City last weekend.

Meanwhile,  a collective sigh of relief was felt around Parramatta Stadium on Sunday as the Wanderers notched their maiden win of the campaign against Perth Glory.

Tony Popovic’s side have been far better than their points tally (four points) suggests but a lack of polish in the final third has proved costly in the opening month.

The Wanderers’ transformation into a more fluid, possession-based outfit is still a work in progress and their creativity will be tested against a Jets defence content to sit deep and limit space in the defensive third.

Should be a fascinating clash of styles. 

OPTA DATA

-       Newcastle are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Western Sydney (W2 D3).
-       Western Sydney have only managed one win in their last 16 away league games inc. playoffs (D2 L13).
-       The Jets have never beaten WSW at home in the A-League (D2 L2)
-       Only Sydney (27) have faced less shots than the Wanderers (28).

ROUTE TO GOAL

Milos Trifunovic was labelled as potentially the buy of the season by Jets boss Scott Miller after his brace against City and the Serbian will again be the focal point for the hosts.

The 31-year-old’s work rate has impressed Jets staff along with his ability to hold up the ball and link up with the likes of David Carney, Leonardo and Enver Alivodic.

A reborn Carney has been instrumental in the Jets’ early season form with the former Socceroo terrorising opposition defences in an advanced role on the flank. His sweet left boot has proved dangerous over the dead ball in the opening month so expect the hosts to look to hurt the Wanderers from set pieces.

For Wanderers, marquee man Federico Piovaccari will be eager to find the net after firing blanks in the opening four rounds. Tony Popovic expects the big Italian to be his side’s top scorer and the former La Liga striker has so far failed to deliver on the pre-season hype.

Federico Piovaccari

Fit again Socceroo Dario Vidosic scored the winner against Glory and the talented 26-year-old appears to be returning to his creative best after limited football in the past 12 months.

Expect Mitch Nichols to be heavily involved against the Jets too, with the midfielder creating a team-high 11 chances so far in 2015/16.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Scott Miller. The rookie coach has guided the Jets to their best start in years and the former Fulham assistant is rightly receiving all the plaudits. Named as Manager of the A-League Team of the Week for a second straight week.

FORM LINES

Newcastle Jets WLWW

Western Sydney LDLW

PREDICTION

Newcastle Jets 2 Western Sydney 1