The Newcastle Jets will take on the Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 20 of the Hyundai A-League at Spotless Stadium on Friday night.
Ernie Merrick’s men come into the clash fresh after a week off courtesy of the spilt round, following their 2 – 0 win over the Victory in Round 19.
The Wanderers will be buoyed by consecutive wins following a dominant display over the Wellington Phoenix at home last Sunday.
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said that the Wanderers would be a different side to the one his side faced in Round 12.
“I think they’re beginning to get into a rhythm and are playing the way Josep (Gombau) wants them to play, they’re playing some good football having won two in a row and they’ll be a tough test at home,” said Merrick.
“I thought (against Victory) our defence was first class, but we just didn’t put it together really well going forward, so I’m keen to see the boys put together some slick passing moving up the pitch this week.”
The Jets have some significant inclusions to the side that beat the Wanderers 4 – 0 at home last-start, and Merrick wasn’t unhappy about his selection headache.
“We’re a different opposition ourselves (from Rd 12) and we’ve got a whole heap of players who weren’t available for that game so we’re certainly looking forward to it,” added Merrick.
“I’ve got a lot of players to choose from – particularly in midfield and attack – so it’s a good problem to have.”
Ben Kantarovski has been ruled out with a minor hamstring complaint and Ivan Vujica will also be unavailable for the trip to Spotless Stadium.
“It’s nothing serious with Ben, his hamstring has been bothering him and is a little tight, so we won’t be taking any risks with him at this point in the season,” said Merrick.
“Ivan has had really bad tonsillitis which has knocked him around quite a bit, so we’ll rest him this week but we’ve got Daniel Georgievski coming back from suspension which is a good inclusion for us.”
Roy O’Donovan made his much-anticipated return from injury in Round 19 and Merrick said the additional week of training had been of great use for the Irishman.
“I think the timing of his runs are getting better and better and the service he’s getting from Dimi (Petratos) has been first class,” said Merrick.
“Getting your rhythm and timing back after a lengthy injury lay-off takes time and Roy’s been training the house down this week.”
By the numbers:
- Newcastle Jets picked up a 4-0 win against the Wanderers when they last met (Rd 12), the biggest win in the history of the fixture, also snapping a seven-game winless streak against Western Sydney (D2, L5).
- Newcastle Jets have scored at least one goal in every one of their games this season, and will be looking to become just the sixth team in A-League history to score in 20 consecutive games.
- Newcastle Jets have scored 41 goals this season, eight more than their Expected Goals; only Sydney FC (+8.7) have outperformed their Expected Goals more than the Jets.
Friday, 16 February 2018
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Newcastle Jets
Spotless Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park
Kick-Off: 7:50 PM (AEDT)
Referee: Peter Green
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SWR 999). ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvNEW
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Wayne BROWN, 11.Patricio RODRIGUEZ, 14.Riley MCGREE, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (return from suspension), 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (promoted), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS (promoted), 32.Angus THURGATE (promoted)
Outs: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (hamstring – 1 week), 13.Ivan VUJICA (illness – 1 week)
Unavailable: 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Josh RISDON, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 7.Steven LUSTICA, 8.Roly BONEVACIA, 9.Oriol RIERA, 10.Alvaro CEJUDO, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC, 24.Raul LLORENTE, 25.Chris HERD, 33.Michael THWAITE, 40. Nicholas Suman, 42.Keanu Baccus.
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Alvaro Cejudo (returns from injury), 25.Chris HERD (promoted).