The Westfield FFA Cup winners roll into the Hunter just days after holding aloft the first domestic silverware of the season. The win-less Jets will hope there’s a Cup hangover when these two meet on Friday night in a fixture that’s celebrating the home side’s ten-year anniversary.
Friday, 19 December 2014
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 7.40pm (Local) (7.40pm AEDST)
Newcastle Jets 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Scott NEVILLE, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Adrian MADASCHI, 7.Jeronimo NEUMANN, 8.Zenon CARAVELLA, 9.Joel GRIFFITHS, 11.Andrew HOOLE, 12.Sam GALLAGHER, 13.Edson MONTANO, 16.Jacob PEPPER, 17.James VIRGILI, 18.Allan WELSH, 19.Mitch COOPER, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 21.Sam GALLAWAY, 23.David CARNEY, 26.Nick COWBURN
***two to be omitted***
Ins 17.James VIRGILI (promoted), 18.Allan WELSH (promoted), 26.Nick COWBURN (promoted).
Outs 4. Kew JALIENS (suspended – 2 weeks)
Unavailable 3.Taylor REGAN (ankle – 1 week), 14.Billy CELESKI (groin – 2-3 weeks), 15.Josh BARRESI (knee – season), 22.Jonny STEELE (leave of absence)
Adelaide United 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (c) (GK), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 7.Pablo SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 30.John HALL (GK), 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPOPOULOS
***two to be omitted***
Ins 3.Nigel BOOGAARD (returns from injury), 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (returns from injury), 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPOPOULOS (promoted)
Outs 15.Ben WARLAND (omitted)
Unavailable 5.Osama MALIK (calf – 2-3 weeks), 6.CASSIO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 20.Paul IZZO (gk) (calf – 1-2 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – indefinite)
TV – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Live Coverage on SBS HD & SBS One from 7.30pm AEDT
Radio – 1233 ABC Newcastle, 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC Local Radio SA, Grandstand Digital, Grandstand Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Referee Strebre Delovski
Assistant Referee 1 Lance Greenshields
Assistant Referee 2 Andrej Giev
Fourth Official Adam Gehrig
Two sides enjoying hugely contrasting seasons meet in an interesting clash to begin Round 11. While Newcastle are struggling without a win from their opening 10 matches, the Reds are flying in third spot and will be buoyed after picking up the season’s first piece of silverware with their Westfield FFA Cup triumph on Tuesday night.
How quickly Adelaide can come back down to earth and re-focus on the Hyundai A-League could go a long way to deciding how this clash pans out.
The Jets certainly don’t mind facing Adelaide on their home turf though having won three and drawn one of their last five clashes at Hunter Stadium.
With skipper Kew Jaliens suspended, Jets coach Phil Stubbins will need to find a new centre-back to partner Adrian Madaschi. Allan Welsh played there in the National Youth League last weekend and has been promoted to the squad while Ben Kantarovski – who trained in the position this week – is another option.
Stubbins may look to inject his side with some pace with James Virgili and Jeronimo Neumann pushing for a start, the latter against his former club.
Adelaide have Nigel Boogaard and Marcelo Carrusca back after the pair missed the loss to Brisbane last weekend. Given they will be backing up from the Westfield FFA Cup just 72 hours earlier, coach Josep Gombau might decide to tinker with his side with Fabio Ferreira, Craig Goodwin and Pablo Sanchez all chances to start if any player is feeling any signs of Cup fatigue.
OPTA DATA STATS
-Newcastle has conceded in each of their four previous home Hyundai A-League games this season, a total of 10 goals (2.5 per game).
-Adelaide has scored exactly two goals in each of their last four Hyundai A-League away games, winning three of these (L1).
-However, the Reds have failed to score on either of their last two visits to the Hunter Stadium (L1 D1).
– United have had twice as many shots on target (52) than Newcastle this season (26), the highest and lowest totals in the Hyundai A-League respectively.
ROUTE TO GOAL
The problem for Newcastle is the Reds have threats all over the park. If it’s not the class and creativity of Carrusca and Cirio then it’s the pace of Mabil or Goodwin or the sheer strength of Djite.
The Jets have struggled in wide areas for much of the campaign so expect Gombau’s side to attack the flanks with their lightning quick wingers. Newcastle’s best outlet continues to be David Carney and his battle with Reds fullback Tarek Elrich will be fascinating.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Sergio Cirio. What a week it’s been for the diminutive Spaniard. Not only did he score the winner in the Westfield FFA Cup final but he won the inaugural Mark Viduka Medal as man of the match and finished as leading scorer for the competition with six goals.
After a superb start to the season, Cirio had been a little quiet the last couple of weeks but was back to his best in the midweek win over Perth which could spell trouble for the struggling Jets.
Newcastle’s loss to league-leaders Perth Glory last weekend made it 10 games without a win this season. Only Western Sydney Wanderers FC, who have a game in hand, are lower than the Jets on the ladder. Adelaide bounced back from their shock home loss to Brisbane Roar FC last weekend – their first home defeat in 15 matches – with a deserving 1-0 win over Glory on Tuesday in the Westfield FFA Cup decider.
DID YOU KNOW?
No team has won more fouls than Adelaide this season (154), while the Jets have picked up the most yellow cards (24).
Newcastle Jets 1-3 Adelaide United
The home side’s best hope will be if Adelaide are off their game following their Westfield FFA Cup celebrations just a couple of days earlier. But something tells me Gombau won’t let them stay on cloud nine for too long – their superior class and quality should see them through here and continue the Jets’ woeful season.