Official Preview: Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United
We want goals! Get along to EnergyAustralia Stadium to see if Jets can find their shooting boots
Saturday 13th November 7:45pm EnergyAustralia Stadium
We want goals! Get along to EnergyAustralia Stadium to see if Jets can find their shooting boots against a United side who suddenly look vulnerable on the road.
Talk about luck kicking you when you-re down. Last Sunday, Jets were fourteen minutes away from securing a hard-earned 0-0 draw in Sydney which would have ensured they remained off the foot of the ladder. Then disaster struck.
It seemed that everyone in the stadium spotted the ball cross the goal-line before Sydney midfielder Hiro Moriyasu pulled it back for Bruno Cazarine to stick it in the net. Everyone, that is, except for the referee and his assistant.
The goal, astonishingly, stood, Jets couldn-t fashion an equaliser and now, in a season that has been tough for all manner of reasons, Newcastle find themselves staring up at every other team in the Hyundai A-League.
To say it was a massive disappointment for the dedicated army of Jets fans at Sydney Football Stadium would be a huge understatement as, at times, they were the better side in a desperately poor game, and had chances to take the lead before conceding.
However, being the better side for periods is no good unless you take advantage, and the most worrying aspect again, for Branko Culina, was the team-s inability to convert their chances. With just five goals in 11 matches thus far, Jets have one of the Hyundai A-League-s slowest goalscoring starts to a season.
Over the previous three campaigns, the lowest scoring sides after a dozen games had hit over double what Newcastle have managed this far. Only the now defunct New Zealand Knights scored fewer.
Considering this meagre scoring tally, Jets need all the firepower they can muster if they are to claw themselves off the foot off the table, so they will hope the arrival of former England international Francis Jeffers will take immediate effect.
The 29-year-old former Everton and Arsenal striker arrived at the club a couple of weeks ago on a 10-week guest stint. While Jeffers played just once for England, that game brought a goal, against the Socceroos in 2003.
Having left experienced stars Kasey Wehrman and Ljubo Milicevic on the bench for the Sydney game after they were involved in a training ground bust-up during the preceding week, boss Branko Culina will need to make the decision as to whether they will return to the starting line-up for the visit of Adelaide United.
Fresh from the exciting news of their ownership takeover, United go into the game desperate to secure an away win and prevent losing from becoming a habit on the road. Having been untouchable for so long in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, their away form has suddenly nosedived.
Defeat at Etihad Stadium was as predictable as it was disappointing, but who would have imagined what would have happened at Suncorp Stadium a week later? Brisbane are proving themselves to be a very fine side, and many teams will lose to them this season, but the margin of defeat, coupled with the fact that The Reds had a man advantage, would have stunned the Adelaide faithful.
Until Reinaldo gave the home side the lead just before the half-time whistle, United were well in the game, so when the Brazilian was given his marching orders early in the second half, it seemed certain the visitors would take advantage and go on to get at least a point. Brisbane had other ideas though, and three more goals left the scoreline looking almost unbelievable.
However, while this result will have hurt Rini Coolen-s side, it was more about the brilliance of Brisbane than Adelaide-s failings, and it-s up to his players to put the last two miserable away trips to the back of their minds. This run of away defeats needs to be halted before it gets started.
The good news for Adelaide, as they roll up their sleeves and look for their first away win in four and just their second in six, is that Newcastle are certainly a beatable team. United themselves proved this in Week 6, when goals either side of half-time from Matthew Leckie and Marcos Flores gave them a 2-1 win at Hindmarsh.
Jets though, know that they are capable of carving out a result against The Reds, as they proved with their 0-0 draw at Hindmarsh Stadium on the opening weekend of the season.
This is the last time the two sides will meet this season, and Adelaide have the upper hand with one win and a draw, so it-s time for The Squadron to cheer their side on to achieve some kind of parity and, more importantly, grab a shock win that will not only boost confidence no end but also push Jets up the table. Grab your ticket today, warm up your vocal chords and get ready to see the drama unfold live.