The Hyundai A-League’s cellar-dwellers meet at Hunter Stadium, with the Wanderers looking to build on their first win of the season last weekend. Without a single point on their travels, can the red and black bag a second win of the season against Stubbins' desperate Jets?
Saturday, 14 February 2015
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 5pm (Local) (5pm AEDST)
Newcastle Jets 1. Jess VANSTRATTAN (Gk), 2. Scott NEVILLE, 3. Taylor REGAN, 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 8. Zenon CARAVELLA, 10. Travis COOPER, 11. Andrew HOOLE, 12. Sam GALLAGHER, 13. Edson MONTANO, 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
***one to be omitted***
Ins 26. Nicholas COWBURN (promoted)
Unavailable 15. Joshua BARRESI (knee – season), 17. James VIRGILI (ankle – 8 weeks)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Yusuke TANAKA, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Antony GOLEC, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Yojiro TAKAHAGI, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 23. Jason TRIFIRO, 25.Sam GALLAWAY, 33.Nick KALMAR
***two to be omitted***
Ins 25.Sam GALLAWAY (promoted), 23. Jason TRIFIRO (promoted),
Unavailable 34.Golgol MEBRAHTU (knee – indefinite), 18.Iacopo La Rocca (injured – 2 weeks), 17.Romeo CASTELEN (injured – 1 week)
TV – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT)
Radio - ABC Radio Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Referee Lucien Laverdure
Assistant Referee 1 Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2 George Lakrindis
Fourth Official Adam Gehrig
Fresh from securing their first win of the season on Sunday, the Wanderers will be hell-bent on building on that victory against another of the Hyundai A-League’s struggling outfits. The Jets also have just one win for the season to their name and have gone through a period of upheaval over the last couple of weeks.
Phil Stubbins’ side showed plenty of character against Brisbane last Friday and now have to muster the same fight and spirit against a team equally as desperate. It won’t be easy, especially against a Wanderers team who will feel their breakthrough victory could spark a mid-season revival.
The Jets coach has stuck with the same squad that were unfortunate to lose to Roar last weekend, only adding young defender Nick Cowburn to his options as cover.
Wanderers boss Tony Popovic has named ex-Jet Sam Gallaway in his extended squad, along with Jason Trifiro. Despite being forced off with an injury against Phoenix, Nikita Rukavytsya has been named to play but will need to get through the club’s final training session unscathed to play.
OPTA DATA STATS
-The Jets have lost their last two Hyundai A-League home games – they haven’t lost three home matches in a row since October 2009.
-The Wanderers have lost eight successive Hyundai A-League away games and have not won on the road in the competition since a 3-2 win at Melbourne City FC (Heart) in April 2014.
-Newcastle has hit the woodwork nine times in the Hyundai A-League this season; more often than any other side.
-Newcastle has not scored a first half goal in any of their last seven Hyundai A-League matches.
-No side has conceded more goals in the 90th minute or later than Newcastle Jets (4) this season.
ROUTE TO GOAL
The Wanderers haven’t been their usual stingy selves in defence this season but they are also struggling at the other end of the pitch. Just 10 goals from 14 games tells the story. Injury to striker Brendon Santalab and Tomi Juric’s absences on Socceroos duty hasn’t helped but the likes of Mark Bridge and Labinot Haliti haven’t delivered like in previous seasons.
Rukavytsya finally ended his drought which augurs well for his confidence but they will need more from all avenues to turn their season around. The Jets are relying heavily on the pace of Andrew Hoole and power of Edson Montano but the pair need support. Youngster Radovan Pavicevic could be that outlet after an impressive showing – and goal – off the bench last weekend.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Daniel Mullen. It wasn’t that long ago the defender was helping the Wanderers claim the Asian Champions League crown. But looking for more game time Mullen made the switch to the Hunter and will be hoping to turn around the Jets’ fortunes at the expense of his former club.
Proving to Popovic he deserved more opportunity at Wanderland will be driving Mullen as well and his battle with Socceroo Tomi Juric will be one to watch. Left-back Sam Gallaway, who went the other way and joined the Wanderers from the Jets, is in the visitor’s squad and will also relish a clash with his former club should he get the nod ahead of Antony Golec in the starting XI.
Newcastle’s tumultuous season took another heart-breaking twist last weekend, conceding a stoppage-time goal to lose 2-1 to Brisbane Roar. It was a vast improvement though in every department from their 7-0 drubbing the week before and gives them something to build on for the rest of the season.
The Wanderers 2-0 win over Wellington in Penrith was their first of a sorry campaign and will have immediately lifted the mood in Sydney’s west. But can they make it two in a row and leapfrog the Jets off the bottom of the ladder in the process.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Wanderers are the only side yet to score a headed goal in the Hyundai A-League this season.
Newcastle Jets 0-2 Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Can the Wanderers string two wins in a row together…and get their first points on the road all season? Tony Popovic’s side finally showed signs of life last weekend and while it’s too early to say they 'are back’, they will get no better chance to build some winning momentum against the battling Jets.
Although Newcastle put up a brave fight in pushing Brisbane all the way last time out, producing that type of effort two weeks in a row might be a stretch for Phil Stubbins’ confidence-sapped outfit.