Hyundai A-League preview: Jets v Wanderers

A desperate Newcastle outfit must win to keep their slim finals hopes alive while the Wanderers are out to keep the pressure on league leaders Adelaide United. Should be a cracker.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers FC

Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM (AEDT))

Referee: Koichiro Fukushima (Japan)

Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher

Assistant Referee 2: Scott Edeling

Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvWSW

To purchase tickets visit


Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (C), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Cameron WATSON, 7.Enver ALIVODIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 10.Leonardo, 12.Andy BRENNAN, 14.Mitch COOPER, 16.Steven UGARKOVIC, 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Nick COWBURN, 25.Brandon LUNDY, 28.Ryan KITTO

**two to be omitted**

Mitch Cooper and Milos Trifunovic had Newcastle in front before an own goal saw Roar draw level after the break as both sides had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Suncorp.

Ins: 12.Andy BRENNAN (promoted), 14.Mitch COOPER (promoted), 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC (promoted), 25.Brandon LUNDY (promoted)

Outs: 2.Daniel MULLEN (suspended – 1 week), 3.Jason HOFFMAN (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: 11.Labinot HALITI (knee – season)

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Romeo CASTELEN, 8.DIMAS, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15.Kearyn BACCUS,16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.ALBERTO, 18.ANDREU, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21.Jacob PEPPER, 30.Liam REDDY (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Mark Bridge and Dario Vidosic celebrate combining to open the scoring for the Wanderers in the Sydney Derby.

Ins: Nikolai Topor-Stanley (returns from suspension) 19. Mark Bridge (returns from injury), 21. Jacob Pepper (promoted)

Outs: 13. Matt Sim (not selected)

Unavailable: nil


Newcastle’s four match unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt against the Glory on Monday night in the West, and they are now sitting five points outside the top six with five matches to play.

Scott Miller refused to rule his side out of finals calculations after that loss but realistically the Jets need to win at least three of their remaining fixtures to have any chance of post-season football.

The Jets simply must win this one and their task hasn’t been made any easier with suspensions to key defenders Jason Hoffman and Daniel Mullen.

Newcastle will be forced into a re-shuffle with Lachlan Jackson and Ben Kantarovski likely to slot into the back four with the versatile Nick Cowburn potentially swapping flanks to fill in at right fullback.

Jets defender Lachlan Jackson gets his head to the ball in the Round 6 F3 derby.

Andy Brennan has been included in an extended squad for the hosts, with the former South Hobart and South Melbourne striker yet to feature in the Hyundai A-League this term.

The Wanderers were usurped at the top of the ladder after losing a five-goal thriller to the Roar and will be determined to return to winning ways against the Jets.

And Tony Popovic’s side will have few fears travelling to Newcastle after having never lost at Hunter Stadium in five visits (W3, 2D).

Western Sydney will be boosted with the return of skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley from suspension while in-form striker Mark Bridge is back after missing last week through injury.



  • Not since their final away match of the 2014/15 season have the Wanderers lost back-to-back away fixtures but that presents itself as a very real possibility after losing 3-2 away to the Roar last round.
  • Milos Trifunovic has scored four goals in the last four Newcastle home games, although, he failed to score last time out.
  • Only Central Coast Mariners (26) have conceded more goals at home this season than Newcastle Jets (20).
  • Only once in the history of this clash has either team scored more than two goals in a match (WSW scored 3 in Rd 27, 2012/13).


Newcastle struggled to create clear cut-chances against the Glory and won’t find it any easier against a well-marshalled Wanderers outfit.

Leonardo looked the Jets’ most threatening on Monday night and the Brazilian’s vision and range of passing will pose the Wanderers plenty of problems.

Ben Kantarovski celebrates his equaliser against the Roar with teammate Leonardo.

But the key for the Jets is the link up play between the front four. Milos Trifunovic and Morten Nordstrand’s have shown glimpses of quality in their burgeoning partnership, but the execution and decision making in the final third has been a concern at times.

Mark Bridge’s inclusion adds another dimension to the Wanderers’ attack, though the former Jet is likely to be introduced from the bench.

Golgol Mebrahtu started up top for Tony Popovic’s side last weekend but Brendon Santalab could be promoted to the starting line-up given his rich vein of scoring form.

Brendon Santalab has been in sensational form for Western Sydney Wanderers over the past month.

Dario Vidosic is again likely to miss with a hamstring issue which means the responsibility in front of goal falls on the shoulders of livewire attacker Romeo Castelen and the prolific Mitch Nichols.

Nichols broke the Jets’ hearts in the sides’ last meeting at Hunter Stadium – a long range thunderbolt in the dying stages earning the Wanderers a dramatic 2-1 win.


The ref for this clash. Koichiro Fukushima will take control of the match as part of an ongoing partnership between FFA and the Japanese Football Association.