W-League: Five things ahead of Sunday’s Adelaide clash

It’s shaping as a massively important fixture for the Jets who will host Adelaide United on Monday morning, in a rescheduled kick-off to avoid the heat.

The Reds are in the competition’s top four, a position which the Jets would love to make some serious ground on with a win this weekend.

SQUAD: The ins and outs for Adelaide

Here are five talking points to mull over ahead of Sunday’s double header.

The heat of battle

Summer has well and truly arrived in Newcastle, with the region sweltering through a long period of hot holiday weather.

As a result the match has been rescheduled to Monday morning, after the Clubs and FFA agreed to the change in the interest of player safety. Despite the 9.30am kick-off, it will still be pretty warm out on the pitch.

Mandatory drinks breaks could still be on the cards, but the weather will require both teams to work hard and remain switched on for 90 minutes. Could the unfamiliar kick-off time play a part in this one?

w-league drinks break
The girls taking a well-earned drinks break

Six to go

It’s a season which has been interrupted by international breaks and a pair of byes, but the path home for the Jets is clear.

With six matches left for the Jets to crack into the competition’s top four, the prize of picking up three points is becoming increasingly valuable.

Currently five points adrift of the top four, albeit with a game in hand on the rest of the competition, a good run home will be key to Craig Deans’ finals ambitions.

Fit and sharp

Although the Jets had the bye in the last round of the Westfield W-League, the women stayed sharp with a pair of friendlies on the Gold Coast.

They went down twice to the China national team, 2-0 and 5-0, but the invaluable experience of travelling together as a team and playing against a high-quality opposition will serve the Jets well.

Having kept fit and sharp throughout the bye, expect a fired-up Newcastle side to take the pitch come Sunday afternoon.

Libby Copus-Brown Cassidy Davis China
China proved a valuable experience for some of Craig Deans younger players

Stengel’s shooting boots

With three goals on the board after a double in Perth a fortnight ago, Katie Stengel’s stocks are continuing to rise.

To match last season’s tally of ten goals would mean seven goals from the remaining six regular season fixtures, and the American will be keen to get a few on the board this Sunday.

It could be assists which the striker would also be happy to grab. She’s laid on a few goals this season, notably for Cortnee Vine in the opening round.

Shuffling players around

There are a pair of forced outs for Craig Deans this weekend – Larissa Crummer and Taylor Smith.

Crummer will miss out after being shown a red card for a foul on Sam Kerr last weekend, while Smith is facing an extended period on the sidelines after suffering a catastrophic ACL injury.

It’ll require the boss to put his thinking cap on and tinker with his starting XI for Monday’s massive clash.