Preview: Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets
The Glory may be on its best winning streak at home in its Hyundai A-League history but their run will be threatened this week by a Newcastle side with nothing to lose.
Date: Sunday November 9 Kick-off: 5:00pm local (7:00 pm AEDT) Venue: Members Equity Stadium TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and delayed coverage on Sky Sport 3. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is 6PR (Perth) and 1233 ABC Newcastle. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com.au
Head-to-head 10 Hyundai A-League meetings: Perth - 5 wins, Wellington - 2 wins, Draws - 3.
Previous meeting Perth 3, Newcastle 3, Members Equity Stadium, Round 2, August 2008
Past Five Games Perth Glory: Round 6: Central Coast Mariners 4, Perth Glory 1, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium Round 7: Melbourne Victory 4, Perth Glory 0, Telstra Dome Round 8: Perth Glory 2, Sydney FC 1, Members Equity Stadium Round 9: Adelaide Utd 2, Perth Glory 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 10: Perth Glory 2, Wellington Phoenix 0, Members Equity Stadium
Newcastle: Round 6: Adelaide United 2, Newcastle Jets 0, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 7: Newcastle Jets 2, Wellington Phoenix 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 8: Newcastle Jets 1, Melbourne Victory 0, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 9: Central Coast Mariners 1, Newcastle 0, Bluetongue Stadium Round 10: Newcastle Jets 1, Queensland Roar 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium
Analysis The Glory may be on its best winning streak at home in its Hyundai A-League history but their run will be threatened this week by a Newcastle side with nothing to lose.
The Jets truly have had a disastrous week. On the back of two narrow defeats to Central Coast and Queensland, Newcastle's squad has been weakened by the departure of unsettled striker Edmundo Zura, who has returned to Ecuador following a disappointing 10 matches with the club, where he showed glimpses of his best but failed to score.
Zura's departure means coach Gary van Egmond needs to find another partner for front man Joel Griffiths, with Jin-Hyung Song, Jesper Hakannsson, Kaz Patafta and Matt Thompson shaping up as the likely replacement. Whoever it is, they'll want to get the Jets forward line working better than it has done so far this season, as Griffiths has been troubled by injury and Zura failed to find the back of the net. Indeed, Newcastle's scoring record is the worst in the league, the club having only scored five goals from its last seven matches.
Thompson, though, seems unlikely to be Griffiths' new partner, despite starting up front last week. Instead, it seems likely he'll start in his customary left back role as Jobe Wheelhouse was exposed there last round by Queensland's experienced squad.
Fortunately for Newcastle, it has a rock solid defence that's only conceded eight goals in the last seven games, but whether that will also be unsettled somewhat remains to be seen as it comes under pressure from the Glory's more than capable front pairing of Nikita Rukavytsya and Jamie Harnwell.
Glory leading goal scorer Rukavytsya has been on song over the last two weeks, scoring three goals, while Harnwell scored a brace against Sydney FC in Round 8 and came close on numerous occasions last week against the Phoenix. The Glory also have Eugene Dadi waiting in the wings on four goals. The French-Ivorian striker returned from injury last week but almost scored in the dying stages against the Phoenix and will be itching to recreate his spectacular headed goal, scored against Newcastle in the Round 2 3-3 draw between the clubs.
Rukavytsya could struggle in this one though, as he won't get the space to make his marauding runs through the middle with Mark Milligan in his path. But the main query with Perth relates to its defence, which continues to struggle with injuries. Experienced campaigner Hayden Foxe is in the squad but remains in doubt with hamstring soreness after missing last weekend's clash with the Phoenix, while Dino Djulbic (ankle - two matches) and David Tarka (quad - 1 match) are unavailable.
If Foxe partners Nikolai Topor-Stanley at the heart of the Glory defence, then Harnwell will start alongside Rukavytsya up front. But Foxe's absence will mean a more defensive role for Harnwell, allowing Dadi to pair up with Rukavytsya at kick-off.
The Glory, though, are searching for their fourth win at home on the trot and should be good value. The Perth club will want to avenge their previous 3-3 draw, where they were leading 3-2 in the fourth minute of injury time only to concede a goal to Jade North at the death. But, that being said, the Jets produced a superb backs-to-the-wall performance to beat the Victory on the road and such a terrible week, could galvanise the reigning Hyundai A-League premiers into a similar performance.
Perth Glory Squad. 30.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 1.Jason PETKOVIC (gk), 2.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 4.Jamie COYNE (c), 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 7.Nick RIZZO, 9.Adrian TRINIDAD, 10.AMARAL, 11.Scott BULLOCH, 13.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 14.Eugene DADI, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.James DOWNEY, 18.Hayden FOXE, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 22.Wayne SRHOJ. * one to be omitted.
In. 11.Scott BULLOCH (promoted), 18.Hayden FOXE (return from injury). Out. 6.Dino DJULBIC (ankle - 2 weeks). Unavailable. Josip MAGDIC (ankle - season), James ROBINSON (abdomen - 6 weeks), David TARKA (quad - 2 weeks).
Newcastle Jets Squad. 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 3. Jade NORTH (c), 6. Jesper HAKANSSON, 7. Kaz PATAFTA, 8. Matt THOMPSON, 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 10. Jin-Hyung SONG, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 13. Adam D-APUZZO, 14. Shaun ONTONG, 17. Antun KOVACIC, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 25. Daniel PIORKOWSKI, 26. Mark MILLIGAN. *one to be omitted.
In. 14. Shaun Ontong (returns from injury), 17. Antun Kovacic (promoted). Out. 23. Edmundo Zura (contract mutually terminated). Unavailable. 5. James Holland (Qantas Young Socceroos duties), 15. Jason Hoffman (knee - season), 16. Ben Kantarovski (Qantas Young Socceroos duties), 18. Noel Spencer (ankle - indefinite),19. Jason Naidovski (Qantas Young Socceroos duties).