Preview: Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
Newcastle's trip to Adelaide last week will be remembered for all the wrong reasons by Jets fans. The team not only lost the game (2-0) but lost three players to injury including the influential Griffiths.
Date: Monday October 6 Kick-off: 3:00pm AEST Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 2 and Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM. To purchase tickets visit www.proticket.com.au.
Head-to-head Three A-League meetings: Newcastle 2 wins, Wellington - 1 win, - Draws - 0
Previous meeting Newcastle 2, Wellington 3, EnergyAustralia Stadium, Round 18, December 2007
Past five matches: Newcastle: Round 2: Perth Glory 3, Newcastle Jets 3, Members Equity Stadium Round 3: Melbourne Victory 5, Newcastle Jets 0, Telstra Dome Round 4: Newcastle 0, Sydney FC 0, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 5: Queensland Roar 0, Newcastle Jets 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 6: Adelaide United 2, Newcastle Jets 0, Hindmarsh Stadium
Wellington: Round 2: Wellington Phoenix 2, Melbourne Victory 4, Westpac Stadium Round 3: Adelaide United 3, Wellington Phoenix 0, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 4: Wellington Phoenix 0, Central Coast Mariners 0, Westpac Stadium Round 5: Perth Glory 1, Wellington Phoenix 0, Members Equity Stadium Round 6: Wellington Phoenix 2, Sydney FC 1, Westpac Stadium
Analysis Newcastle's trip to Adelaide last week will be remembered for all the wrong reasons by Jets fans. The team not only lost the game (2-0) but lost three players to injury including the influential Griffiths.
Joel Griffiths will miss four weeks with a bad hamstring injury while Adam Griffiths' twinge in the same area will see him out for at least one. Jason Hoffman's season has been ended by a knee injury. Things get even bleaker for the Jets when you look at their recent record without Joel Griffiths. Newcastle has failed to register a win in the past five matches that the reigning Johnny Warren Medallist has not played in.
In terms of ladder position, the Jets are on six points, two points off the bottom but just six off the top. This next month without their best player will be massive for the Jets, kicking off with a match against a Wellington side which clicked into form with a win over Sydney last week.
Edmundo Zura returns, while Kaz Patafta and Antun Kovacic are promoted into a squad missing James Holland and Jason Naidovski who are on Young Socceroos duties. Ben Kantarovski is on Joeys duties while Shaun Ontong is still out with his serious ankle injury.
The feeling at Wellington couldn't be any different this week after the Phoenix's first win of the season against Sydney. Shane Smeltz (who else?) and Tim Brown scored in a fantastic team performance which sees the Phoenix off the bottom of the table.
This match is a huge one for a club which has failed to put together successive wins in its short existence. Newcastle rattled by injuries and poor form, would appear vulnerable and if last year's wooden spoon winners accounting for last year's champions would be a massive boost.
The Jets were one of Phoenix three scalps (for five wins) of last season. The 3-2 success at EnergyAustralia is only one of two away wins in history for Wellington and was the Jets' only defeat in the final five rounds of last season.
In even better news for the Phoenix, Jon McKain, Leo Bertos, Glen Moss and Andrew Durante, all arguably first-team players, return. Jacob Spoonley's short-term spell as back-up keeper is over.
Newcastle Jets Squad. 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 3. Jade NORTH (C), 6. Jesper HAKANSSON, 7. Kaz PATAFTA, 8. Matt THOMPSON, 10. Jin-Hyung SONG,11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 13. Adam D-APUZZO, 17. Antun KOVACIC, 18. Noel SPENCER, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 23. Edmundo ZURA, 25. Daniel PIORKOWSKI. In. 23. Edmundo Zura (returns from injury), 7. Kaz Patafta (promoted), 17. Antun Kovacic (promoted). Out. 9. Joel Griffiths (hamstring - 3 weeks), 2. Adam Griffiths (hamstring - 1 week), 15. Jason Hoffman (knee - season), 5. James Holland (Qantas Young Socceroos duties). Unavailable. 14. Shaun Ontong (ankle - indefinite), 16. Ben Kantarovski (Qantas Joeys duties), 19. Jason Naidovski (Qantas Young Socceroos duties).
Wellington Phoenix Squad. 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Jeremy CHRISTIE, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. Karl DODD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Vaughan COVENY, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10. Michael FERRANTE, 11. DANIEL, 12. Richard JOHNSON, 15. Adam KWASNIK, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Glen MOSS (gk), 21. Leilei GAO, 22. Andrew DURANTE (captain), 25. Manny MUSCAT. * three to be omitted. In. 4. Jon McKAIN (return from leave), 7. Leo BERTOS (return from injury), 20. Glen MOSS (gk) (return from injury), 22. Andrew DURANTE (return from illness). Out. 30. Jacob SPOONLEY (gk) (short-term cover player released) Unavailable. 16. David MULLIGAN (flu - 1 week), 17. Vince LIA (knee - season).