The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers are set to meet the Newcastle Jets in their Community Round Double Header at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday in crucial match between two clubs keenly jostling for a finals berth.
A Sunday arvo ripper closes out Round 16 of the Hyundai A-League in a clash that could have ramifications for both sides’ top six hopes.
Tony Popovic’s side have a decent record at this venue and currently stand undefeated at Campbelltown Stadium.
Confidence should be high after a spirited and impressive display in last week’s Sydney Derby stalemate, their first clean sheet of the season, when they bossed the best team in the league for much of the derby.
And they are boosted by the return of leading scorer Brendon Santalab to add some punch to their front line and much-needed cutting edge.
The Jets have one defeat in their last six, including last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Perth Glory, meaning Mark Jones’ side is on the up right now.
They are just a point behind both Phoenix and Glory in the six, but they have designs on finishing even higher. And you wouldn’t count them out as they look to strengthen even further in the window.
The Jets are dealt a blow for this one with one of their key attackers Andrew Hoole – who leads the A-League in chances created and crosses – missing through suspension.
ROUTE TO GOAL
The Wanderers finally managed to keep their first clean sheet of the season last weekend. They were resolute and desperate in everything they did in defence against Sydney FC, showing the traits we’ve come to expect from a Popovic-coached side.
The addition of keeper Vedran Janjetovic and return of defender Robbie Cornthwaite has added a calmness and quality to Western Sydney’s back-four which they’ll need against the Jets.
Santalab’s return from suspension is timely, with the striker scoring six times from 11 games, the only Wanderer to have found the net more than twice.
By contrast, the Jets have been ruthless in front of goal recently.
The two Andrews – Nabbout and Hoole – have been the major factor in their improvement, combining brilliantly and troubling all defences with their speed and movement.
Hoole’s absence is a blow for the visitors but it could give import Kokko a rare start, if Jones opts to move Nordstarnd into the now-vacant wide role.
Sunday, 22 January 2017
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Newcastle Jets
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT))
Referee: Matthew Conger
Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn
Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor
Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport Pop-Up (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Hawkesbury Radio
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvNEW
To purchase tickets visit www.wanderland.com.au
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Steven LUSTICA, 8.DIMAS (c), 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 23.Lachlan SCOTT, 24.Terry ANTONIS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Steven LUSTICA (promoted), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (returns from suspension), 24.Terry ANTONIS (promoted)
Outs: 49.Abraham MAJOK (omitted)
Unavailable: 17.Aritz BORDA (suspended – 2 matches)
Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Aleksandr KOKKO, 10.Wayne BROWN, 11.Labinot HALITI, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 18.MA Leilei, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 24.Kristian BRYMORA, 28.John KOUTROUMBIS, 50.Tomislav ARCABA (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Wayne BROWN (returns from injury), 11.Labinot HALITI (promoted), 24.Kristian BRYMORA (promoted)
Outs: 7.Andrew HOOLE (suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles – season), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee – 1 week), 13.Ivan VUJICA (hamstring – 2-4 weeks), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season)
This article was originally published at: http://www.a-league.com.au/article/hyundai-a-league-preview-western-sydney-wanderers-v-newcastle-jets/1btxn71lbhme91dwc53804whh2