They’ve survived two tough fixtures on the road unscathed, including an eye-catching result away to the Sky Blues. Now Hyundai A-League leaders Perth Glory will relish a return to home comforts and the chance to make hay against a Newcastle Jets side struggling badly for form and confidence.
Friday, 12 December 2014
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 6:45 PM (Local) (9:45 PM AEDT)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2 Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebosja MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 13.Diogo Alves FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Jack DUNCAN, 19.Joshua RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Jack CLISBY (promoted), 3.Brandon O’NEIL (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season)
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Scott NEVILLE, 4.Kew JALIENS (c), 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, 19.Mitch COOPER, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 21.Sam GALLAWAY, 23.David CARNEY
Ins: 21.Sam GALLAWAY (promoted)
Outs: 14.Billy CELESKI (groin – 3-4 weeks)
Unavailable: 3.Taylor REGAN (ankle – 1-2 weeks) 10.Marcos FLORES (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 15.Josh BARRESI (knee – season), 22.Jonny STEELE (leave of absence)
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 9.45pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio Western Australia, 1233 ABC Newcastle, Grandstand Digital, Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referee 2: Tim Mihevc
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
You’d have to be a brave punter or the most optimistic of Newcastle Jets fans to back Phil Stubbins’ side at nib Stadium this Friday night. The team from the Hunter region are yet to win in 2014-15 and haven’t beaten Perth Glory away from home since November 2005.
They were on course to finally do so on each of their last two trips out west, leading 1-0 only to concede twice late on and suffer 2-1 defeats on both occasions.
If that hoodoo and their own poor form wasn’t enough, the Jets face a Perth Glory side flying high at the top of the Hyundai A-League table, having lost just once in 2014-15. They made a serious demonstration of their championship credentials by coming from behind to defeat fellow contenders Sydney FC 2-1 away from home last Thursday.
OPTA DATA STATS
– Newcastle Jets have yet to win this season (D4, L5), their worst ever start to an Hyundai A-League campaign after nine games.
– Glory are unbeaten in nine games against the Jets, winning seven of those, including the last three.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Star import Andy Keogh is Glory’s chief threat with six goals in nine games, but he’s received plenty of help, Jamie Maclaren notching three times (two of those coming in the 2-1 comeback win over the Jets last month), while powerful centre-back Dino Djulbic has two, including a thumping volley away to Brisbane Roar FC in Round 8.
Nebojsa Marinkovic pulls the strings for the Glory in midfield, with the likes of Mitch Nichols, Richard Garcia and Daniel De Silva supplying Keogh with ammunition.
For the visitors, powerful centre-forward Edson Montano has shown promise, while David Carney is proving a useful attacking weapon from wide positions. With Marcos Flores out this week, Jeronimo Neumann and Joel Griffiths need to chip in and help the Jets mount a consistent threat, or they will be making the long trip home empty handed.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
The Jets themselves have been under the microscope in the week leading up to this one, with Scottish Premiership side Dundee United mooted as surprise buyers for the club, which has been put up for sale by owner Nathan Tinkler.
And a feisty training session on Tuesday where Jets players had to be separated underlined the perception of a side under pressure.
Perth Glory have lost just once in 2014-15, going down 2-0 away to Adelaide United in October. Since then they have won five of six matches in the league, only dropping points in a 1-1 draw away to Brisbane Roar FC.
The Jets have drawn three of their last five and lost the other two, leading in three of those games without managing to hold out and record that much-needed victory. Last time out they gave up a 1-0 advantage to go down 3-1 at home to Wellington Phoenix.
DID YOU KNOW?
No team has had fewer shots (60) or shots on target (25) this season than Newcastle.
Perth Glory 2-0 Newcastle Jets
Their forward line might not be quite as free-flowing as leading scorers Melbourne Victory, but Glory have more than enough firepower in their arsenal to dispatch the leaky Jets this weekend.
Perhaps the only hope for Newcastle is the fact that Perth have the worst defence of the league’s top four sides, having conceded 10 goals, compared to seven apiece for Adelaide United and Sydney FC and eight for Melbourne Victory.
But even if they do breach the Glory backline, can Newcastle avoid shooting themselves in the foot at the other end? We’re doubtful, so it’s a home win getting the nod from us.