Preview: Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets

This could go either way, but home ground advantage might just give Adelaide the edge.

Date: Friday, 25 November 2011 Kick-off: 8.00pm AEDT, 7.30pm local Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium

Head-to-head Played 19: Wins: Adelaide 8, Newcastle 6, Draws: 5

Previous encounter Newcastle 3, Adelaide 1, 13 November 2010

History: In one of the anomalies of the Hyundai A-League draw, these two sides met three times over the first 15 rounds of last season - meaning Friday night will be the first time Adelaide and Newcastle will renew their acquaintances in over a year.

A lot has changed since then - both sides have fresh faces, one has a new coach and brand new colours, and their fortunes have effectively switched. But the Reds will take heart in the fact that the Jets have only won twice at Fortress Hindmarsh in 11 attempts.

Form: Past five matches: Adelaide: LLDWD Newcastle: WLWLL

Summary of form: Adelaide have had a simply horror start to the season, given how much was expected of their star-studded squad. They have yet to really convince at all this term, but the past three weeks have been somewhat of an improvement - a draw with the Heart, a win over Gold Coast and a share of the spoils over in New Zealand.

Since Gary van Egmond's arrival in Newcastle, the Jets have been really up and down. Their defeat against Brisbane last week made it consecutive losses for the Hunter boys,

Match Committee: Gun striker Sergio van Dijk will miss for the Reds with a calf injury, while left-back Cassio has a mystery foot problem that could reportedly put him out for the rest of the season. The Jets will have to do without late Olyroos call-up Ben Kantarovski and injured shotstopper Ben Kennedy - but Michael Bridges has been named in their 18-man squad.

Danger men: Iain Ramsay - The shock retirement of mercurial Dutch winger Andy Slory means Hyundai A-League fans are going to be seeing a lot more of Ramsay.

This is excellent news. On his day, the 23-year-old is one of the most electrifying players in the entire competition - he's quick, he's skillful, and he's not afraid of running at defenders. Sydney FC should still be kicking themselves that they let him go.

Ryan Griffiths - So far this season, the 30-year-old has confirmed his status as one of the most important players in the Jets strikeforce. Having netted once again with the opener against Brisbane last weekend, Griffiths is starting to make a habit out of putting his name on the scoresheet on a consistent basis.

At the end of the day… It's been a funny week down in Adelaide. Andy Slory's shock retirement came right out of the blue and Friday night will be the first opportunity to see what sort of impact - if any - it'll have on the rest of the Reds. It came just as United were beginning to settle after a turbulent start to the season.

They are now unbeaten in three games and will welcome a Jets side still stinging from a sucker-punch defeat at home against champions Brisbane. For large patches against the Roar, Newcastle were the better side but they were unable capitalize.

On paper, neither side deserves to be so low on the ladder - but in practice, both have been lacking the killer touch needed to jump up. This could go either way, but home ground advantage might just give Adelaide the edge.

Squads Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain (c), 7.Zenon Caravella, 8.Evgeniy Levchenko, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 13.Ricardo Da Silva, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Spase Dilevski, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 21.Francisco Uusucar, 22.Milan Susak, 39.Nick Munro (gk) *two to be omitted*

In: Evgeniy Levchenko (returns from injury), Antony Golec (promoted), Milan Susak (returns from injury) Out: Cassio (ankle - indefinite) Unavailable: Daniel Mullen (international duty), Sergio Van Dijk (calf - 1 week), Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) (international duty)

Newcastle Jets squad: 2. Taylor Regan, 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 5. Tiago Calvano, 7. Kasey Wehrman, 8. Jeremy Brockie, 9. Michael Bridges, 10. Ruben Zadkovich, 11. Tarek Elrich, 12. Jobe Wheelhouse (c), 13. Sung-Hwan Byun, 14. Labinot Haliti, 17. James Virgili, 19. Matthew Nash (gk), 22. Ali Abbas, 23. Ryan Griffiths, 24. Francis Jeffers, 25. Jacob Pepper, 30. Jack Duncan (gk) *three to be omitted*

In: 5. Tiago Calvano, 9. Michael Bridges (returns from illness), 17. James Virgili (promoted), 19. Matthew Nash (gk), 22. Ali Abbas (promoted) Out: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 6. Ben Kantarovski Unavailable: 1. Ben Kennedy (concussion), 6. Ben Kantarovski (U23s duty)