The Newcastle Jets will line up for their second Hyundai A-League fixture in four days, as they take on the Brisbane Roar at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.
The Jets came into the clash off the back of an F3 Derby win over the Central Coast, while the Roar have struggled in recent weeks with a number of players unavailable through injury and suspension.
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said that despite the short turn around, his players would be ready for a big performance at home.
“We knew that this time of the year would present some challenges physically, but we’re ready for that,” said Merrick.
“All we can do is prepare to the best of our ability and that’s really about recovery, working on our structures and playing our style of football.”
Merrick said that new recruit, Pato Rodriguez would be monitored closely in the lead up to the match and wasn’t a certainly to start.
The Argentine claimed the 159th cap for the club and is just the 11th player to score on debut – joining current teammates Roy O’Donovan, Dimi Petratos and Joe Champness on the prestigious list.
“Pato played more minutes (against Central Coast) than I had anticipated, he still needs to build up some match fitness so we’ll be looking carefully at how he pulls up,” said Merrick.
The high-flying Jets have already surpassed their goal-scoring tally at home from each of the last three seasons, just 15 rounds into the competition.
Their current tally of 34 goals is the 3rd best return in their history and is just four goals shy of an all-time record in the regular season for the club.
“We’ve got a lot of goal-scorers and they’ve been doing an excellent job,” said Merrick.
“Our performance against the Mariners wasn’t our best, but I think as the second half progressed we just got stronger and stronger and it was an important three points at home.
“Brisbane will be heading down determined to get something out of this game so we need to be at our best.
“It will be and end-to-end affair and they’ve got some quality attacking players, so with both teams really pushing for the win it should be an entertaining game of football.”
Overall – 38 matches: Jets – 15, Roar – 14, Drawn – 9
By the numbers:
- The Jets have won five of their last six games at McDonald Jones Stadium, including each of their last three; they’ve concede just one goal in that time.
- Nikolai Topor-Stanley has won 78% of aerial duels contested this season, the best success rate of any player to have contested at least 50.
- Newcastle had made 72 passes into the final third per game this season, more than any other team, while Brisbane Roar (52) have made the fewest.
- The Jets have scored in 15 consecutive matches.
- Newcastle have scored 34 goals this season, the 3rd best return of any season in their history. They are 4 goals from equalling their best ever haul of 38 in a season.
Friday, 12 January 2018
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar FC
McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (AEDT)
Referee: Jonathan Barreiro
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live
Join the conversation: #NEWvBRI
To purchase tickets: http://bit.ly/JETvBRI
Newcastle Jets Squad: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 10.Wayne BROWN, 11.Patricio RODRIGUEZ, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 19.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted), 32.Angus THURGATE (promoted)
Outs: 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS (international duty)
Unavailable: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (back – 1 week), 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (groin – 7 weeks), 14.Riley MCGREE (international duty), 16.Nick COWBURN (international duty)
Brisbane Roar FC Squad: 2.Dane INGHAM, 3.Luke DEVERE, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Massimo MACCARONE, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Eric BAUTHEAC, 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 27.Adam SAWYER, 31.Brendan WHITE (gk), 36.Daniel LECK, 77.Ivan FRANJIC
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS (returns from suspension), 17.Matt MCKAY (returns from suspension), 20.Shannon BRADY (promoted), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (promoted) 27.Adam SAWYER (promoted), 77.Ivan FRANJIC (returns from injury)
Outs: 4.Daniel BOWLES (omitted), 16.Mitchell OXBORROW (general soreness – 1 week), 25.Rahmat AKBARI (omitted), 33.Petros SKAPETIS (omitted)
Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (gk) (finger – 2 weeks), 10.Brett HOLMAN (calf – 1 week), 11.Corey GAMEIRO (groin – 1 week), 13.Jade NORTH (groin – TBC), 18.Joe CALETTI (foot – 10 weeks), 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO (ankle – 1 week)