Preview: Queensland Roar v Newcastle Jets
Queensland appears in the box seat to claim just its second win at Suncorp Stadium this year but Newcastle's pride will be smarting after losing to Sydney last week and the Jets could have some surprises in store.
Date: Sunday December 14 Kick-off: 6:00pm local (7:00 pm AEDT) Venue: Suncorp Stadium TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and Sky Sport 3. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is ABC (Newcastle) 1233AM. To purchase tickets visit www.premier.ticketek.com.au
Head-to-head 12 Hyundai A-League meetings: Newcastle - 6 wins, Queensland - 4 wins, Draws - 2
Previous meeting Newcastle 1, Queensland 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium, Round 10, November 2008
Past Five Games Queensland Roar: Round 10: Newcastle Jets 1, Queensland Roar 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 11: Queensland Roar 0, Melbourne Victory 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 12: Queensland Roar 4, Perth Glory 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 13: Sydney FC 1, Queensland Roar 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 14: Central Coast Mariners 1, Queensland Roar 1, Bluetongue Stadium
Round 10: Newcastle Jets 1, Queensland Roar 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 11: Perth Glory 2, Newcastle Jets 2, Members Equity Stadium Round 12: Wellington Phoenix 2, Newcastle Jets 0, Westpac Stadium Round 13: Newcastle Jets 1, Adelaide United 1, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 14: Newcastle Jets 1, Sydney FC 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium
Analysis Queensland appears in the box seat to claim just its second win at Suncorp Stadium this year but Newcastle's pride will be smarting after losing to Sydney last week and the Jets could have some surprises in store.
In what looks likely to be a full-on display of counter-attacking football from both teams, the Roar seem to have the edge. Queensland coach Frank Farina has close to a full side available for this match as Michael Zullo returns from illness and Chris Grossman is promoted to the squad. The Roar have talent and experience in all their lines from Craig Moore in defence to Danny Tiatto in the midfield and Charlie Miller up forward, so why then have they got such a poor home record?
The Roar boys appeared to have tried everything to find answers, from calling up psychics to watching every episode of NCIS Channel 10 has to offer. The answer, though, might simply be that Queensland, for all its talent and experience, is vulnerable when things don't entirely fall into place for it. The Roar's counter-attacking game plan may also be partly to blame, as the club often tries to soak up mountains of pressure before attacking and sometimes this pressure translates to goals regardless of how experienced one's defence is.
'Things not entirely falling into place', could be the catch-phrase for Newcastle's entire season though. Nothing's gone right for the reigning Hyundai A-League champions as they have managed just two wins for the campaign and are outright last on the table, three points adrift of seventh-placed Perth. But the Jets have been good value in their past three matches, having dominated long periods of their 2-0 loss to Wellington, conceding a heartbreaking injury-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Adelaide and forging ahead as well, in last week's 2-1 loss to Sydney.
The Wellington match proved crucial though as both Joel Griffiths and Mark Milligan received red cards and were suspended for the past two matches. The Jets gave it their all in those two games but their attack was desperately missing those players and their inclusion for this game along with the skilful Jin-Hyung Song, who returns from injury, could turn the match in Newcastle's favour. Griffiths and Milligan will be especially determined to atone for their suspensions while they will be backed up by a very solid Jets defence ably led by Jade North and Adam Griffiths.
Milligan's skilful distribution through the midfield will only help the Jets use the speed of Griffiths and Tarek Elrich up front more effectively. This could expose Queensland's defence slightly but at the same time, Milligan may have a fair bit on his plate as well, for he will be shut down by Tiatto and have to contend with Miller and Sergio van Dijk at the same time.
Queensland Roar Squad. 1.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Andrew PACKER, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Craig MOORE (c), 5.Josh McCLOUGHAN, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Charlie MILLER, 12.Tahj MINNIECON, 13. Chris GROSSMAN, 14.Ben GRIFFIN, 15.Matthew McKAY, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Danny TIATTO, 20.Griffin McMASTER (gk), 23.Tim SMITS. *two to be omitted.
In. 7. Michael ZULLO (returns form illness), 13. Chris GROSSMAN (promoted).
Unavailable. REINALDO (groin injury), Hyuk-Su SEO (calf injury), David DODD (groin injury), Isaka Cernak (knee injury).
Newcastle Jets Squad. 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 3. Jade NORTH (c), 5. James HOLLAND, 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, 16. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 17. Antun KOVACIC, 24. Marko JESIC, 26. Mark MILLIGAN, 30. Justin PASFIELD (gk). *two to be omitted.
In. 7. Kaz Patafta (promoted), 10. Jin-Hyung Song (returns from injury), 9. Joel Griffiths (returns from suspension, 26. Mark Milligan (returns from suspension).
Out. 19. Jason Naidovski (knee - 6 weeks), 6. Jesper Hakansson.
Unavailable. 15. Jason Hoffman (knee - season),18. Noel Spencer (ankle - indefinite), 20. Ben Kennedy (ankle - 6 weeks).