Wellington Phoenix boss Ufuk Talay was at a loss to explain how his side fell to defeat against Brisbane Roar on Saturday and the 'Nix aim to get their Finals Series push back on track against Newcastle Jets.
Wellington had not tasted defeat for 76 days before their slip up in Queensland, as a 1-0 reverse halted a club record equalling nine-match unbeaten Hyundai A-League run.
The Kiwi club still remain fourth in ladder but have lost some ground on the top three. Meanwhile, the Newcastle Jets story has been quite the opposite.
The Hunter club have not won in their past seven matches, as Interim coach Craig Deans has overseen defeats to Sydney FC and Melbourne City since taking over from the axed Ernie Merrick.
The Jets were boosted by the news that marquee signing Wes Hoolahan finally has a timeline on his return from ankle surgery. The bad news is the‘Irish Messi’ is still around five weeks away from making his Newcastle debut.
Friday, 24 January 2020
Kick-off: 7.15pm local, 5.15pm AEDT
Venue: Sky Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports
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Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 2.Liam McGING, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 6.Tim PAYNE, 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9. David Ball, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 12. Brandan Wilson, 13.Liberato CACACE, 17.Callan Elliot, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 21.Callum MCCOWATT, 23.Walter SCOTT, 27.Steven TAYLOR (c), 31.Ben WAINE, 32.Sam SUTTON, 88. Gary HOOPER **1-3 to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Liam McGING (promoted), 23.Walter SCOTT (promoted)
Outs: 5.Matti STEINMANN (Suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: 7.Reno Piscopo (International Duty), 14.Alex RUFER (knee), 16.Louis FENTON (shoulder - season)
Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Bobby BURNS, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 9.Abdiel ARROYO, 10.Dimi PETRATOS, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Matt MILLAR, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 28.Pat LANGLOIS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 40.Noah JAMES (gk), 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY **0-2 to be omitted**
Ins: 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (return from injury), 19.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted)
Unavailable: 1.Glen MOSS (calf – 4-6 weeks), 8.Wes HOOLAHAN (ankle – 4 weeks)
Did you know?
- Wellington Phoenix have lost only two of their last nine Hyundai A-League games against the Newcastle Jets (five wins, two draws) and will be looking to secure back-to-back wins against them for the first time since December 2014.
- Wellington Phoenix have won 13 of their last 16 Hyundai A-League games against the Newcastle Jets at Sky Stadium (one draw, two losses), including their last four on the bounce across which they have outscored the Jets 13-2.
Wellington Phoenix have scored exactly two goals in each of their last five Hyundai A-League games as hosts, remaining undefeated in that span (four wins, one draw).
Newcastle Jets have lost 12 of their last 16 Hyundai A-League games outside New South Wales (three wins, one draw), including their last four on the bounce across which they have been outscored 14-3.
Newcastle Jets defender Lachlan Jackson has won 82% of all aerial duels he has contested (40/49), the highest success rate of any player to have contested more than 10 this Hyundai A-League season.