Hyundai A-League preview: Newcastle v Brisbane

Roar continue to lead the way at the top of the competition but face a stern test against the resolute and whole-hearted Jets. Which style will prevail at Hunter Stadium?

MATCH DETAILS

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

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

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

#NEWvBRI

Radio Broadcast: Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.

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

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, 13.Lee KI-JE, 14.Mitch COOPER, 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.David CARNEY, 24.Nicholas COWBURN, 27.Braedyn CROWLEY, 28.Ryan KITTO

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 10.LEONARDO (returns from ankle injury), 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC (promoted)

Leonardo

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 2.Daniel MULLEN (knee – indefinite), 11.Labinot HALITI (knee – season)

Brisbane Roar FC squad: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 36.Andre JANNESE (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins:  5.Corey BROWN (promoted), 16.Devante CLUT (promoted)

Roar's 19-year-old striker Devante Clut was the hero, scoring a goal in each half.

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (gk) (quad strain – 2 weeks),  12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (hamstring strain – 2 weeks),  33.Luke DE VERE (quad – 2 weeks)

Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling

Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

A real contrast of styles awaits at Hunter Stadium. 

Newcastle has built their success so far in 2015/16 on a simple formula. Solid defensive base, massive work ethic and no frills football.

Maybe not the type of game-plan for the football purist but undoubtedly a style that suits the Jets and – for the most part – has worked a treat.

Jets players form a huddle prior to their 1-1 draw with the Mariners.

The Jets ground out a draw with Adelaide United last weekend despite being pegged back for much of the 90 minutes. It’s a match they probably would have lost last season.

On the other side, Roar has surged to the top of the ladder on their back of their fluent passing and eye-catching attacking game.

John Aloisi’s side were held to draw at home against Melbourne City last week, with the Roar boss critical of his former club’s stifling tactics.

He can expect more of the same against the Jets: the question is, have the found the answers this week to be able to unlock a packed defence?

Brisbane Roar players ahead of their first home game of the season.

Much could depend on the fitness of Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard, who has been named but must be in some doubt after leaving the field early injured last weekend. His absence would be a massive blow for the home side.

Brazilian Leonardo is back to bolster the Jets attack but that’s an area where Roar look dominant with the likes of Maclaren, Borrello, Broich, Henrique and Petratos.

It’s difficult to see Newcastle’s defence keeping Roar’s attacking arsenal quiet for the whole 90 minutes. But the Jets have surprised everyone except themselves this season. 

Get ready for an intriguing battle. 

OPTA DATA

*Newcastle has scored four headed goals this season, twice as many as any other team in the Hyundai A-League (two - Sydney, Mariners, City).

*Brisbane has won each of their last three Hyundai A-League matches against Newcastle, outscoring them 8-2 in the process.

*Jets striker Milos Trifunovic has attempted 22 shots this term; no player has managed more in the Hyundai A-League.

*Roar has converted more than one in five of their shots into goals (21.05 percent), the most of any team so far this Hyundai A-League season and the only team higher than 20 percent.

ROUTE TO GOAL

The Jets created history against Adelaide last weekend – but for all the wrong reasons.

Scott Miller’s side failed to have a single shot at goal at Coopers stadium, the first time any side has been held shot-less since shot stats started being recorded in the A-League.

No doubt the attacking side of the game will have been worked on overtime on the training pitch this week. The return of playmaker Leonardo from injury should help their cause.

Striker Milos Trifunovic has copped some criticism in recent weeks but he has four goals for the season and will be a focal point again.

The home side will also hope to get some joy down the flanks via the likes of David Carney and Enver Alivodic.

Roar’s young guns Jamie Maclaren and Brandon Borrello have been kept shackled the last fortnight so will be eager to get their lethal combination back on track.

Roar marquee Thomas Broich embraces strike pairing Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren.

There’s no doubt their pace can be a huge asset for Roar. And if all that fails, “super sub” and new Australian Henrique will be waiting in the wings, looking for a third goal in as many games off the bench.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

What a return from injury it has been for Roar’s “Slippery Fish” Henrique. The Brazilian-born attacker has scored twice off the bench in the last fortnight and looks a real impact weapon for Brisbane. Now a naturalised Aussie, Henrique is even being talked about for a possible Socceroo call-up.

Henrique has netted in back-to-back games for Brisbane Roar.

FORM LINES

Jets: WWLDD

Roar: LWDWD

PREDICTION 

Newcastle Jets 1-2 Brisbane Roar

#NEWvBRI