Hyundai A-League preview: Wanderers v Jets

Wanderers will pray a change of scenery will signal a change in home form fortunes when the dangerous Jets visit Campbelltown in Sydney's greater west for this crucial meeting between two clubs keenly jostling for a finals berth.

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MATCH DETAILS

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Newcastle Jets

Campbelltown Stadium

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

Referee: Matthew Conger

Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn

Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor

Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones

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

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

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

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Steven LUSTICA, 8.DIMAS (c), 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 23.Lachlan SCOTT, 24.Terry ANTONIS
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 7.Steven LUSTICA (promoted), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (returns from suspension), 24.Terry ANTONIS (promoted)

Terry Antonis

Outs: 49.Abraham MAJOK (omitted)

Unavailable: 17.Aritz BORDA (suspended – 2 matches)

Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Aleksandr KOKKO, 10.Wayne BROWN, 11.Labinot HALITI, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 18.MA Leilei, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 24.Kristian BRYMORA, 28.John KOUTROUMBIS, 50.Tomislav ARCABA (gk) 
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 10.Wayne BROWN (returns from injury), 11.Labinot HALITI (promoted), 24.Kristian BRYMORA (promoted)

Newcastle Jets midfielder Wayne Brown.

Outs: 7.Andrew HOOLE (suspended – 1 match)

Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles – season), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee – 1 week), 13.Ivan VUJICA (hamstring – 2-4 weeks), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season)

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

A Sunday arvo ripper closes out Round 16 of the Hyundai A-League in a clash that could have major ramifications for both sides’ top six hopes.

Wellington’s big win over Melbourne Victory in midweek means both the Jets and Wanderers have work to do to make the finals, currently sitting seventh and eighth respectively.

Tony Popovic’s side have yet to win a home match so far in the 2016/17 Season but have a decent record at this venue.

Confidence should also be high after a spirited and impressive display in last week’s Sydney Derby stalemate, their first clean sheet of the season, when they bossed the best team in the league for much of the derby. 

And they are boosted by the return of leading scorer Brendon Santalab to add some punch to their front line and much-needed cutting edge.

Brendon Santalab has netted four goals in the first five games of the season.

They’ll probably need a few goals to get the better of the Jets, who have caught fire over the last month.

One defeat in their last six, including last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Perth Glory, means Mark Jones’ side is on the up right now.

They are just a point behind both Phoenix and Glory in the six, but they have designs on finishing even higher. And you wouldn’t count them out as they look to strengthen even further in the window. 

With the injury issues to many of their defenders now behind them, Jones has a settled line-up and the performances are showing that.

But Jets are dealt a blow for this one with one of their key attackers Andrew Hoole – who leads the A-League in chances created and crosses – missing through suspension.

Jets players celebrate Andrew Hoole's goal in the clash with Wellington on Boxing Day.

OPTA DATA

Hyundai A-League Round 16 stats preview

ROUTE TO GOAL

It took 15 rounds but the Wanderers finally managed to keep their first clean sheet of the season last weekend.

They were resolute and desperate in everything they did in defence against Sydney FC, finally showing the traits we’ve come to expect from a Popovic-coached side.

The addition of keeper Vedran Janjetovic and return of defender Robbie Cornthwaite has added a calmness and quality to Western Sydney’s back-four which they’ll need against the free-scoring Jets.

Keeper: Vedran Janjetovic (Wanderers)

But it’s at the other end where the Wanderers’ issues has been exposed , with tjust 17 goals for the campaign and a paltry four in the last six matches.

Santalab’s return from suspension is timely, with the striker scoring six times from 11 games, the only Wanderer to have found the net more than twice.

By contrast, the Jets have been ruthless in front of goal recently. They have scored at least two goals in each of their last six games in the Hyundai A-League.

The two Andrews – Nabbout and Hoole – have been the major factor in their improvement, combining brilliantly and troubling all defences with their speed and movement.

Hoole’s absence is a blow for the visitors but it could give import Kokko a rare start, if Jones opts to move Nordstarnd into the now-vacant wide role.

Set pieces could also be key for the visitors, who scored two late goals from dead-ball situations when the two sides met earlier this season to snatch a 2-2 draw at Spotless.

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

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Vedran Janjetovic. The Wanderers gloveman has been superb since joining the club this month with two flawless performances to earn back-to-back spots in our TOTW in round 14 and 15? Can he make it a hat-trick against the now free-scoring Jets?