Preview: Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets

With both teams having troubles up front and desperate to end respective two-game losing streaks, this game looks destined to end level.

Date: Friday, 14 December, 2012 Kick-off: 9.45pm AEDT, 6.45pm local Venue: nib Stadium

Head-to-head Played: 26 Wins: Perth 14, Newcastle 6, Draws: 6

Previous encounter Perth 3 Newcastle 2, 3 November 2012

Form: Past five matches: Perth: LLDLD Newcastle: LLDLW

The Game Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond could rush Adam Taggart straight into his starting line-up for the trip to Perth Glory on Friday night after the 19-year-old striker's scoring exploits with the Socceroos in Hong Kong.

Taggart was a surprise selection by Holger Osieck for the East Asian Cup qualifying tournament, having only played just 96 minutes this season, but scored two goals in Australia's final match against Chinese Taipei. With the Jets having failed to score in three of their past four games, Taggart may be the answer for Van Egmond's problems up front.

Van Egmond will have Ryan Griffiths and Josh Mitchell back against the Glory after they were banned from the Jets' 2-0 loss to Central Coast last week, although captain Jobe Wheelhouse will still be out with a knee injury.

For Perth, Michael Thwaite and Scott Jamieson will return from international duty as Ian Ferguson attempts to snap a five-game winless streak. The Glory coach is hopeful Liam Miller and Ryo Nagai will be fit enough to play, which would add much-needed creativity.

The Big Issue Perth: Glory have scored two goals in their past five Hyundai A-League matches and, like Newcastle, have been kept scoreless in three of their past four. Can Ferguson inject enough creativity into his team to give Shane Smeltz and Billy Mehmet a chance to score?

While Miller may be seen as the answer, the Irishman does not produce enough defence-splitting passes and Ferguson may have to throw Nagai, who impressed during pre-season, straight into action on Friday night if Glory are to win.

Newcastle: How long will Van Egmond persist with James Brown? The 22-year-old attacking midfielder was one of the bright spots for Gold Coast United last season but has struggled so far this campaign after returning from an ankle injury. With livewire wingers Craig Goodwin and James Virgili having been dropped to the bench, Brown needs to start producing some game-changing moments soon or Van Egmond's patience might run out.

Gamebreaker Ruben Zadkovich: With the absence of injured Jobe Wheelhouse, Zadkovich will need to cover for his skipper on two fronts against Perth. Zadkovich should take the captain's armband again, as he did against the Mariners, while if he can control the Glory's midfield and stifle supply to Smeltz and Mehmet, Newcastle will be well on their way to a win.

Prediction Perth 0-0 Newcastle.

With both teams having troubles up front and desperate to end respective two-game losing streaks, this game looks destined to end level.

Three points beckon for either team if they can find a way to get their misfiring strikers to hit form but if the match remains level with half an hour to go, expect at least the Jets to settle for a draw away from home.