Hyundai A-League preview: Wanderers v Jets

​Get into the festive spirit with this Christmas Eve NSW derby. Can the Jets write their own Christmas fairytale by defeating the Western Sydney juggernaut? And yes, Santa will be there!


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta

Kick-Off: 7:00 PM (Local) (7:00 PM (AEDT)

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS TWO from 7:00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 1 (New Zealand)

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

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

To purchase tickets visit 

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, 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.ALBERTO, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21.Jacob PEPPER, 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 8.DIMAS (promoted), 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU (promoted), 19.Mark BRIDGE (promoted)

Mark Bridge

Outs: 18.ANDREU (suspended)

Unavailable: Nil

Newcastle Jets Squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (C), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Cameron WATSON, 7.Enver ALIVODIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 10.LEONARDO, 14.Mitch COOPER, 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.David CARNEY, 24.Nicholas COWBURN, 25.Brandon LUNDY, 27.Braedyn CROWLEY, 28.Ryan KITTO

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Daniel MULLEN (returns from injury), 10.LEONARDO (returns from soreness), 25.Brandon LUNDY (promoted)


Outs: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: 11.Labinot HALITI (knee – season), 13.Lee KI-JE (international transfer pending)

Referee: Stephen Lucas

Assistant Referee 1: Lance Greenshields

Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero

Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones



Get set for an early Christmas cracker at Wanderland as the league-leaders host a Newcastle side desperate for some festive cheer heading into the New Year.

The Wanderers saw their impressive winning streak snapped last weekend after a 2-2 draw with the improving Perth Glory.

But there was still plenty to like about their performance, with only some wayward finishing denying Tony Popovic’s troops an eighth straight victory.

Wanderers players celebrate after Brendon Santalab equalised against Perth Glory.

If the Wanderers can win this one they’ll ensure they head the table heading into 2016, a remarkable effort considering the amount of change the side has endured since last season.

The Jets got back to their miserly best against Adelaide United last Friday after a dour 0-0 draw.

That’s now seven games without a win for Scott Miller’s side. A huge concern, with only bottom club Central Coast in worse form than the Hunter club (who started the season on fire).

Miller has expressed his desire to bolster his squad in January but he’ll need his youngsters – and sprinkling of experienced stars - to produce something special to topple the Wanderers.

Jets star David Carney celebrates after scoring against Melbourne Victory.

It took two late goals for Western Sydney to prevail 2-1 when the two sides met in Newcastle last month right at the start of the Red and Black hot streak.


-Western Sydney Wanderers won the last clash between these sides but haven’t won consecutive Hyundai A-League matches against the Jets since December 2013.

-Only once in ten matches between these sides in the Hyundai A-League has either team scored more than two goals in a match.

-The Wanderers are on their second longest ever undefeated streak in the Hyundai A-League (W7 D1), five shy of their best.


Newcastle drew another blank last week, meaning they’ve now scored just once in almost eight hours of action.

It’s too easy just to point the finger at striker Milos Trifunovic. Sure the Serbian hasn’t had the impact he would have liked but the Jets’ problem starts a bit further back.

Milos Trifunovic and Eugene Galekovic descend on the ball at Coopers Stadium.

Much of their problems of late have stemmed from not being able to hold onto the ball long enough to manufacture decent attacks.

While they work ever so hard to win possession, it is often squandered with sloppy passing or poor ball control.

Once Miller’s side learns to take more care with the ball, their toothless attack might sink its fangs into  A-League prey. 

The battle between Jets wingers Carney and Alivodic and the Wanderers attack-minded fullbacks Jamieson and Neville will be crucial, while the return of Leonardo from injury is also a plus for the visitors.

After missing last weekend’s trip to Perth, the in-form Bridge returns for the Wanderers posing an interesting selection dilemma for Popovic.

Does he stick with Santalab, who scored against Perth, re-call Bridge who has netted in his last four starts or go with Piovaccari who had started finding the net before his untimely injury.

Brendon Santalab says the Wanderers are wary of a hurt Newcastle Jets side.

What a pleasant headache for the Wanderers boss to have.

Expect Romeo Castelen to come into the starting XI again. His last outing at Wanderland was a man-of-the-match showing against Victory and if he’s in similar form, the Jets’ task will be almost impossible.


Brendon Santalab. Marked his first start of the season last weekend with a goal. And playing on Christmas Eve, surely ‘Santa’ will have a big say in this one.


Wanderers: WWWWD



Western Sydney Wanderers 3-0 Newcastle Jets