A-League preview: Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar

One side is hurting and looking for redemption while the other is showing signs of being back to their devastating best. There’s a lot for both sides to play for at Hunter Stadium on Friday night but can the Jets put their off-field dramas aside to thrive on the pitch or will it be the rejuvenated Roar who come out on top in a Friday night thriller.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-Off: 7.40pm (Local) (7.40pm AEDST)

Squads

Newcastle Jets 1. Jess VANSTRATTAN (gk), 2. Scott NEVILLE, 3. Taylor REGAN (C), 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 8. Zenon CARAVELLA, 10. Travis COOPER, 11. Andrew HOOLE, 12. Sam GALLAGHER, 13. Edson MONTANO, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 18. Allan WELSH, 19. Mitch COOPER, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 21. Daniel MULLEN, 22. Lee KI-JE (visa pending), 26. Nicholas COWBURN, 27. Radovan PAVICEVIC ***one to be omitted***

Ins 1. Jess VANSTRATTAN (Gk) (new signing), 3. Taylor REGAN (promoted), 10. Travis COOPER (new signing), 19. Mitch COOPER (promoted), 21. Daniel MULLEN (new signing), 22. Lee KI-JE (new signing), 26. Nicholas COWBURN (promoted)
Outs Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) (on loan – AS Varese), 4. Kew JALIENS (omitted), 6. Adrian MADASCHI (omitted), 7. JERONIMO (released), 9. Joel GRIFFITHS (omitted), 14. Billy CELESKI (omitted), 23. David CARNEY (omitted)
Unavailable 15. Joshua BARRESI (knee – season), 17. James VIRGILI (ankle – 8 weeks)

Brisbane Roar 1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 20.Kofi DANNING, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 28.Brandon BORRELLO

Ins 13.Jade NORTH (return from suspension)

Outs 16.Devante CLUT (omitted)

Unavailable 6.George LAMBADARIDIS (knee – 2 weeks), 10.HENRIQUE (calf – 2 weeks), 23.Dimitri PETRATOS (knee – 3 weeks)

Hashtag #NEWvBRI

Broadcast coverage

TV – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), Live Coverage on SBS HD & SBS One from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio - 1233 ABC Newcastle, 612 ABC Brisbane & ABC Local Radio QLD, Grandstand Digital, Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app

Referee Chris Beath

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

It’s been a tumultuous couple of weeks for Newcastle, not only having to deal with a horror 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Adelaide last time out but plenty of upheaval around the club as well. With five players sacked since their last outing, Jeronimo Neumann was also released by the club this week while a few new faces have come in so there will be very much a new-look to Phil Stubbins side in this one. The Jets can’t afford to feel too sorry for themselves and their current predicament with a rejuvenated Brisbane Roar coming to town. With Thomas Broich and Michael Theo back and new signing Jerome Polenz in the side, Frans Thijssen’s men got back in the winners’ circle on Monday night and will hope to build on that to keep in touch with the top six.

There’s a host of changes to the Jets squad with new recruits Travis Cooper, Daniel Mullen and Lee Ki-Je all in line to make their debuts after being named by Stubbins, although the Korean is awaiting visa clearance. Experience could be an issue with the likes of Carney, Griffiths and Jaliens all making way. Things are a lot clearer for Thijssen, whose only real choice is whether to bring Jade North straight back into the heart of defence after serving his one-game ban or stick with youngsters James Donachie and Corey Brown. New additions Luke DeVere and Andrija Kaluderovic have to wait at least another week before we might see them in the Hyundai A-League side.

OPTA DATA STATS

-Newcastle’s 7-0 hammering at Adelaide in their last match was their biggest ever defeat in A-League history.

-Brisbane Roar has conceded exactly three goals in their last two away games.

-Henrique scored a hat-trick in this exact fixture in November, as Roar ran out 4-0 winners.

-No side has conceded more goals at home than Newcastle Jets this season (16).

ROUTE TO GOAL

While the Jets have problems at the back – as evidenced in their heavy loss to Adelaide – it’s hard to see where their goals are going to come from as well. They’ve lost key attacking stars Joel Griffiths, David Carney, Jeronimo Neumann and Marcos Flores in recent weeks. It will put greater pressure on the likes of Edson Montano and youngster Andrew Hoole to create and provide the goals for the Hunter club. One area the Jets could get some joy is by utilizing the pace of Hoole on the flanks to get behind the high-line the Roar defence likes to employ.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Jean Carlos Solorzano. With new signing Andrija Kaluderovic joining the club it’s the Costa Rican striker who is the one probably most at risk of losing his spot in the starting line-up. Solorzano showed he isn’t about to give up his spot without a fight, scoring the winner in the victory over Wellington on Monday night and he will be desperate to get among the goals again in this one to keep putting his case forward to Thijssen.

FORM LINES

The Jets are coming off their worst performance of the season, crushed 7-0 by a rampant Adelaide a fortnight ago. They still just have one win for the entire campaign and were beaten 4-0 at Hunter Stadium the last time they played Brisbane at home earlier this season. Roar breathed new life into their top six hopes, scoring late to beat Wellington Phoenix 3-2 on Monday night to snap their three-game winless run.

DID YOU KNOW?

Brisbane’s Dimitri Petratos has had more shots without scoring than any other A-League player this season (24).

PREDICTION

Newcastle Jets 1-3   Brisbane Roar

This is a real danger game for Brisbane. With so much drama and uncertainty surrounding the Jets just what affect it will have on their performance is the great unknown. Stubbins’ side could dish up the same tepid display they did against the Reds last time out or the situation might just bring the group closer together and they could come out firing. But with so many changes we think it will be the former and Roar’s superior quality should shine through.