The Newcastle Jets will take on Adelaide United in the first match of a double-header at McDonald Jones Stadium this Saturday.
The Jets, fresh off a come-from-behind win at the death in Perth, will be aiming maintain their strong home form in the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season as they face the Reds for the second time.
While Ernie Merrick was happy to take the three points in Perth he said the performance wasn’t his sides best.
“I thought by our standards we played pretty average football, but we’ve instilled in the players an attitude that there is always a goal scoring opportunity,” said Merrick.
“We’ve scored 23 goals in the league, we’re the highest goal scorers and that makes a big difference when perhaps things aren’t going your way and somebody pops up, scores a goal and changes the momentum of a game.
“It was a tough match (in Perth) but we’ll be continuing to play the attacking brand of football fans have seen in the opening ten rounds.”
In disappointing news for Jets’ fans, star striker, Roy O’Donovan has been ruled out for the next 3 months with a groin tear sustained in the dying stages of the match against the Glory.
The Irishman joins Ronald Vargas, Jack Duncan, Daniel Georgievski, Jake Adelson and Nick Cowburn on the sidelines.
When pressed on whether his side could cope with the loss in personnel, Merrick wasn’t at all concerned.
“If anyone outside of this club wants to put a line through us, that’s good for us, but if I was them I’d think again,” Merrick added.
“We worry about what we can control and we’ll continue to play front-foot, attacking football, we’ve shown we’ve got players across the park who can do that.”
Merrick said he was wary of an Adelaide side on the rise, following a last start win over Melbourne Victory.
“Adelaide have improved a lot – they have a few players out like ourselves – but do play attacking-minded football under Marco Kurz, I’m anticipating another open game,” said Merrick.
“I think we’ve been playing particularly well at home and I’m expecting to take all three points but it will certainly be a challenging match.
“I hope we see a big crowd at McDonald Jones Stadium.”
By the numbers:
- There have been eight clean sheets across the last nine meetings between these teams, including two nil-all draws.
- The Jets have lost just one of their last seven games at McDonald Jones Stadium against the Reds (W3, D3), and are undefeated in their last three (W1, D2).
- Newcastle Jets have now scored a goal in each of their last 10 A-League games, never before have they gone longer without being kept goalless.
- Newcastle Jets have faced just 31 shots on target this season, only Sydney (28) have recorded fewer this term.
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 5:35 PM (Local) (5:35 PM AEDT)
Referee: Stephen Lucas
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvADL
Newcastle Jets Squad: 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 10.Wayne BROWN, 12.Mario SHABOW, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Glenn MOSS, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 30.Ivan NECEVSKI, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
*one to be omitted*
Ins: 19.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted), 12.Mario SHABOW (promoted)
Outs: 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (groin – 12 weeks)
Unavailable: 1.Jack DUNCAN (foot – 4 weeks), 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite), 16.Nick COWBURN (knee – 1 week), 17. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (knee – 1 week)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 5.Taylor REGAN, 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.ISAÍAS (c), 9.Baba DIAWARA, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 14.George BLACKWOOD, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Ersan GÜLÜM, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 25.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS, 28.Kristin KONSTANDOPOULOS, 29.Ryan STRAIN
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Taylor REGAN (promoted), 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY (promoted), 25.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (promoted), 28.Kristin KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted)
Outs: 19.Ben GARUCCIO (suspended – 1 week), 37.Daniel ADLUNG (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 11.Johan ABSALONSEN (thigh – 2 weeks), 21.Tarek ELRICH (knee – long term)