Two sides; two different objectives. The Jets are desperate to avoid the wooden spoon. Glory, who snapped a nine-game winless streak last round, are desperate for a top-two finish. Three precious points in this Easter Monday clash would do just nicely for either side.
Monday, 6 April
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 5pm (Local) 5pm AEDT)
Newcastle Jets 3. Taylor REGAN (C), 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Enver ALIVODIĆ, 8. Zenon CARAVELLA, 11. Andrew HOOLE, 12. Sam GALLAGHER, 13. Edson MONTAÑO, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 18. Allan WELSH, 19. Mitch COOPER, 20. Ben KENNEDY (Gk), 21. Daniel MULLEN, 22. Lee KI-JE, 26. Nicholas COWBURN, 27. Radovan PAVICEVIC, 29. Michael KANTAROVSKI, 30. John SOLARI (Gk), 31. Max BURGESS
***two to be omitted***
Ins 11. Andrew HOOLE (returns from international duty), 18. Allan WELSH (promoted)
Unavailable 1. Jess VANSTRATTAN (Gk) (knee – indefinite), 2. Scott NEVILLE (groin – 3 weeks), 15. Joshua BARRESI (knee – season), 17. James VIRGILI (ankle – 4 weeks)
Perth Glory 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 4.Riley WOODCOCK, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA,14.Chris Harold, 15.Jamie MACALREN, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 25.Mitch OXBORROW, 27.Dragan PALJIC, 30.Jordan THURTELL (gk)
***two to be omitted***
Ins 4.Riley WOODCOCK (promoted), 15.Jamie Maclaren (returns from international duty)
Unavailable 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season)
TV broadcast – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio broadcast – Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Referee Peter Green
Assistant Referee 1 Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2 Lance Greenshields
Fourth Official Stephen Lucas
The improving Newcastle have set themselves a target of getting off the bottom of the Hyundai A-League ladder by the end of the season and have just four games left to make it happen. Can they do it? Well, anything's possible.
While their performances have improved dramatically since the 7-0 loss to Adelaide in January, they still find themselves last, behind the Wanderers on goal difference (who play on the Friday night before this clash).
Newy will need at least one win over the last month to avoid the spoon and will target their home matches, starting with the visit of Glory on Easter Monday, to get their required points.
Perth put an end to their long win-less run with a crucial 3-2 win over the Wanderers last weekend. Coach Kenny Lowe will be hoping their mid-season slump is now behind them and will hope they can rebuild some momentum heading towards the finals. They won’t get a better chance to do just that against a side they have a dominant recent record against.
After helping the Olyroos take the first step towards qualifying for next year’s Rio Olympics, winger Andrew Hoole is back in the Jets squad. Providing he pulls up with no problems, Hoole should come straight back into the starting side. He will give them that much-needed cutting edge.
Likewise, the visitors do however have Olyroo star Jamie Maclaren back from duty in Chinese Taipei.
OPTA DATA STATS
-Perth Glory’s unbeaten run against Newcastle Jets is currently at 10 Hyundai A-League games (W8 D2).
-Newcastle has had the fewest number of attempts on goal this campaign (176, excluding blocked shots)
-Perth has collected 47 yellow cards in this Hyundai A-League campaign, second only to Newcastle’s tally (59).
-Newcastle has won just once at home all Hyundai A-League season (D4 L6), fewer than any other club. Indeed, the Jets have failed to score in their last three matches at Hunter Stadium. This is the first time in Hyundai A-League history (inc. playoffs) that they’ve done this.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Chief playmaker Nebojsa Marinkovic is Perth’s key weapon and it will be up to the likes of Ben Kantarovski and Zenon Caravella to try and shut him down on Monday.
It will put more responsibility on the likes of Mitch Nichols, Richard Garcia and striker Andy Keogh to spark the visitor’s attack.
The Jets are likely to sit deep and try and soak up the pressure which will mean space in the middle of the park could be at a premium. Glory might best be served to attack the home side down the flanks, using the pace of Sidnei Sciola, Chris Harold and Dragan Paljic.
The Jets meanwhile will look to get Serbian Enver Alivodic on the ball as much as possible. He was sensational against Adelaide and looms as the biggest threat to Glory’s normally resolute defence along with newly re-signed Le Ki-je.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Josh Risdon. The Glory defender was the hero last week with his thunderbolt shot securing all three points and Perth’s first win in 10 games. Risdon is a key part of Glory’s side down the right and his battle with Jets winger Andrew Hoole should be a ripper.
FORM LINES (PAST FIVE GAMES)
Newcastle Jets: LWLLD
Perth Glory: WDLDD
Newcastle slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Adelaide United last Sunday but were unlucky not to get more out of it after having the better of the chances.
Glory finally got that winning feeling back, registering their first victory in 10 games – and 85 days – with a 3-2 triumph over the Wanderers. They are fourth and back within touching distance of top spot and a win here would see them jump further up the table.
DID YOU KNOW?
Only nine players have scored a Hyundai A-League goal for Newcastle Jets this season; less than any other side.
Newcastle Jets 1-2 Perth Glory
On paper this would look like an easy win for the visitors, who are unbeaten in their last 10 games against the Jets. But Stubbins’ side has been far tougher to break down of late and could pull off a shock if they perform like they did last week against Adelaide.
It will be tight but we think Glory will just edge it to continue to make this run-in to the Finals the tightest in history.