Glory all set for top-of-the-table tussle

There is a stern test in prospect for Glory's Westfield W-League side on Saturday as they travel to Newcastle for a top-of -the-table clash with the Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The high-flying hosts are coming off a resounding 3-0 win over a Brisbane Roar side that boasts a number of Matildas stars, a result which sent a clear statement of their intent to the rest of the competition.

Their fourth victory of the campaign saw the Jets climb to second place and equal on points with table-topping Perth.

Glory, meanwhile, head into the blockbuster revitalised by a week off and seeking a third away win of the season, but midfielder Nikki Stanton is wary of the challenge posed by the New South Wales side.

“They’re on a high following their win over Brisbane and they’ll be full of confidence,” she said.

“We’re feeling refreshed after the bye round and we’re ready to take our attacking game right to them. It won’t be easy, but we’re confident we can get the job done.

“It’s first versus second so we’ll be taking them very seriously, especially after the really tough games we had against them last season.”

The Round 8 fixture has the potential to be season-defining, with Bobby Despotovski's side keen to make top spot their own as they look to push for their second W-League Premiership.

Key Battle: Rachel Hill v Arin Gilliland

The two American imports will be going head-to-head tomorrow night in what is set to be a fascinating duel.

Hill, who leads the Westfield W-League Golden Boot race, will be looking to add to her tally of seven goals from her first six matches in Glory colours, while Gilliland will be working equally hard to prevent her compatriot from doing just that.

The Chicago Red Stars defender proved the unlikely goal-scoring hero for the Jets in their impressive win over Roar, with her brace and clean sheet rounding out a fantastic day for the Hunter Valley side.

Last Time We Met: January 2nd 2017, Round 10, Perth Glory 1-1 Newcastle Jets

The last time these two sides met it ended in an intense and hotly-contested draw at Dorrien Gardens in what was the first fixture of 2017.

Newcastle’s defence performed admirably against a red-hot Glory attack, with Vanessa DiBernardo’s missed penalty in the first-half allowing the visitors to capitalise in the 46th minute courtesy of  a Jenna Kingsley strike.

Glory showed great patience and persistence in the second stanza, however and eventually equalised thanks to a signature Sam Kerr goal with 69 minutes on the clock.

If this clash is anything to go by, tomorrow’s match is set to be a belter.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory

McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-Off: 8:15pm (Local) (5.15pm WST)

Referee: Maddison Kennedy

Assistant Referee 1: Ellie Hayes

Assistant Referee 2: Anastasia Filacouridis

Fourth Official: Katie Patterson

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Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Hannah BREWER, 3.Natasha PRIOR, 5.Arin GILLILAND, 6.Cassidy DAVIS, 8.Sophie NENADOVIC, 9.Katie STENGEL, 10.Emily VAN EGMOND (c), 11.Cortnee VINE, 14.Tara PENDER, 16.Nikola ORGILL, 17.Jenna KINGSLEY, 18. Clare WHEELER, 20.Claire COEHLO (gk), 21.Pana PETRATOS, 23.Tori HUSTER, 28.Britt ECKERSTROM (gk)

**one to be omitted**

Ins: 14.Tara PENDER (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 7.Gema SIMON (knee - 1 to 2 weeks), 12.Tara ANDREWS (hip – 1 week)

Perth Glory Squad: 2.Sarah CARROLL, 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY, 5.Patricia CHARALAMBOUS, 6.Danielle BROGAN, 7.Nicole STANTON, 8.Shawn BILLAM, 9.Rachel HILL, 10.Raquel RODRIGUEZ, 11. Nicola BOLGER, 13.Jaymee GIBBONS, 16.Amanda FRISBIE, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 18.Melissa MAIZELS (GK), 20.Samantha KERR (c), 30.Morgan AQUINO (GK)

**one to be omitted**

Ins: 13.Jaymee GIBBONS (returns from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 1.Gabby DAL BUSCO (gk) (arm – 2 to 4 weeks), 12.Shannon MAY (hamstring – 2 weeks)