Newcastle Jets will look to keep their noses ahead of the chasing pack and hold onto a finals berth when they visit struggling Adelaide United as Harvey Norman Friday Night Football returns to Coopers.
Friday, 17 February 2017
Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-Off: 7:20PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo
Fourth Official: Rick Schneider
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS VICELAND from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand, Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvNEW
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Adelaide United squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 7.Jae-sung KIM, 8.ISAÌAS, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 13.Marc MARINO, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Jordan O'DOHERTY, 30.Daniel MARGUSH (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Michael MARRONE (promoted), 7.Jae-sung KIM (promoted), 8.Isaìas (returns from suspension), 15.Ben WARLAND (promoted)
Outs: 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA (hip - 6 weeks), 12.Mark OCHIENG (not selected)
Unavailable: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (shoulder – indefinite), 22.Ryan KITTO (hamstring – 5 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season)
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, 29.Joel ALLWRIGHT, 50.Tomislav ARCABA (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 23.Devante CLUT (promoted), 29.Joel ALLWRIGHT (promoted)
Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles - season), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee - season)
The Jets face a short turnaround heading into Round 20 with their trip to Coopers Stadium coming just four days after they drew 0-0 with Melbourne Victory on Monday night.
But with Adelaide having won just one of their past 10 games and coming off the back of a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Perth Glory last week, Newcastle should be confident of overcoming the Reds.
Last Friday's loss was the worst at home in the Reds' history.
Adelaide's defence of their A-League premiership-championship double has never gotten going this season and they sit last in the table with just 11 points.
Coach Gui Amor will be hoping his new signings of Baba Diawara, Kim Jae-sung and Eli Babalj can turn the Reds' form around, especially with the AFC Champions League looming.
Midfielder Kim is the only one of that trio named to play the Jets but Amor will also have Isaias back from suspension, while defenders Michael Marrone and Ben Warland have been promoted with Iacopo La Rocca (hip) and Mark Ochieng dropping out of the squad.
While Newcastle have improved significantly in 2016/17, their away form has left a lot to be desired with the Jets picking up points in just three of nine matches on the road.
Coach Mark Jones will be happy the Jets notched just their second clean sheet of the season against Victory - although he did argue his side deserved to win at McDonald Jones Stadium.
But if Newcastle are to secure finals football for the first time since 2009/10, they need to claim more results on their travels.
This match is a great opportunity for the Hunter-based club, while they will also travel to lowly Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast Mariners in the final eight rounds.
Jones has added Devante Clut and Joel Allwright to the Jets' squad for the trip to South Australia.
- There have been only six goals scored in the last five iterations of this fixture including two scoreless draws
- The Reds have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven games against Newcastle
- Adelaide have hit the woodwork 12 times already this season, more than any other team and nine more times than the Jets (3), who've done so fewer times than any other team
ROUTE TO GOAL
Having finished last season as the Hyundai A-League's worst attacking team, Newcastle have improved in 2016/17 but that has been in spite of their central striking options.
The Jets managed just 1.03 goals per game in 2015-16 and while that statistic has risen to 1.39 this term, the relative lack of goals from Morten Nordstrand (3) and Aleksandr Kokko (0) has been disappointing.
Wingers Andrew Nabbout (7 goals, 4 assists) and Andrew Hoole (5, 2) have been vital to Newcastle's forward set-up but as the lowest scoring side in the A-League's top six, the Jets need to produce more goals if they are to hold onto a finals berth.
Adelaide have been dreadful up front this season with just 15 goals from 19 matches and their dual leading marksmen Sergi Guardiola and Henrique have left the club after scoring three goals each.
Amor has used Sergio Cirio and Marc Marino as his central striker over the past four matches where the Reds have only scored three goals, and all of those came from wingers and midfielders.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Iacopo La Rocca. The Italian limped off before half-time against Glory and subsequently discovered he will miss six weeks with a hip injury. La Rocca was also left out of Adelaide's ACL squad, with Amor picking Diawara, Isaias, Kim and Cirio as his foreign players.
Adelaide United: WLDLL
Newcastle Jets: DLWLD
Adelaide United 1-2 Newcastle Jets