Five Things: Facing the Reds at home

The Jets have now faced each of their nine opponents in the Hyundai A-League, as they take on Adelaide United for the second time to close out 2018 this Sunday.

Adelaide finds themselves just above the Jets on the ladder, with a two-point lead on the Novocastrians going into Round 10.

A-LEAGUE: Four consecutive #F3Derby wins

We’ve taken a look at what you’ll need to know for the all-important fixture.

Finding form

The Jets are yet to secure back-to-back wins this season, despite their strong performances on the pitch.

It was a notable trait across the 2017/18 campaign and one Ernie Merrick’s side are looking to replicate once again, and with a strong win in Gosford it seems like the perfect time to string a couple together.

Jets celebrate
The boys celebrate a goal over the Central Coast

Adelaide have had their struggles with consistency and come into this one searching for a win after a few lean weeks – going down to Victory, City and drawing with the Wanderers.

Defensive re-jig

Adelaide will be without Jordan Elsey following a red card against the Wanderers and a familiar face could take his spot in the Reds backline.

Former Jet, Taylor Regan has been in and out of the starting XI this season and was suspended after a fiery Round 6 clash with Brisbane Roar.

This will mean another change in central defence for Michael Jakobsen to contend with. Can the likes of O’Donovan, Petratos and Jair take advantage of an unsettled combination?

Jair Perth Glory
Jair has come into his own in recent weeks

Minutes in the legs

It was a much-anticipated return and Roy didn’t disappoint against the Central Coast in an unexpected 80-minute shift.

Ernie Merrick never doubted the Irishman’s fitness or his ability to stay the course, but O’Donovan will certainly be better for the run heading into round 10.

With his suspension behind him, O’Donovan can now set his sights on opening his goal-scoring account of the 2018/19 season.

Dimi, The Creator

He’s created the greatest number of chances of any player in the league (26) and he’s got three assists to his name already this season and Dimi only looks to be improving on his 2017/18 form.

He’s created five ‘big’ chances – which also tops the league – and has been menacing in combination with Ronny Vargas last Sunday in Gosford.

With a few chances to find the back of the net himself, it seems only a matter of time before Dimi adds to his scoring tally.

Dimi Petratos
Dimi has been in great form to open the season

Holiday Hoodoo

Sport throws up some ridiculous statistics at the best of times and the holiday season has thrown up another in Newcastle.

Across the league’s history, the Jets are yet to register a win between Boxing Day and New Year – with only a couple of draws to their name.

With a big month ahead, can Sunday prove a happy hunting for Merrick’s men?

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