Perth will need to put the disappointment of a cruel 2-1 injury-time loss to Central Coast Mariners behind them and refocus their attention onto the Newcastle Jets clash if they are to keep pace in the Hyundai A-League Finals’ race.
Perth will need to put the disappointment of a cruel 2-1 injury-time loss to Central Coast Mariners behind them and refocus their attention onto the Newcastle Jets clash if they are to keep pace in the Hyundai A-League Finals- race.
The Glory are currently in ninth spot on the A-League ladder on 13 points and will need to put in a strong performance against the Jets if they are to make up the five point deficit between them and Sydney FC in sixth place.
All the statistics point to Perth having a good chance at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon with the Glory not having lost to the Jets in their previous six matches (D2 L4). They have also only conceded one goal in their last three league games and have a 52% winning percentage against Newcastle (the highest amongst all Hyundai A-League opposition).
The Jets are also coming off a loss after going down 1-0 to Adelaide at Coopers Stadium and are a team struggling for consistency. Garry van Egmond's side last five results have been a loss-win-loss-win-loss but they have also proved to be very good on their day, having already beaten ladder-leaders, Brisbane Roar, twice this campaign.
Perth will need to get the job done without skipper Jacob Burns who was controversially sent off in the 93rd minute during their clash with the Mariners. The club had sought to have Burns- second yellow card rescinded during the week for what they considered fundamental flaws in the match refereeing, but were unsuccessful.
Steve McGarry was sensational in his 100th Hyundai A-League match against the Mariners after scoring a goal and being awarded man of the match. The influential midfielder will again be pivotal in organising Glory-s young team in the absence of senior players Scott Jamieson, William Gallas, Shane Smeltz, Travis Dodd, Ryo Nagai and Burns through injuries and suspension.
McGarry told The West the team was keen to move on from the Gosford result but was confident of getting a positive result in Newcastle after creating some good chances against the Mariners.
"There's no point in feeling sorry for ourselves. We've got another possibility of taking something on the road," McGarry said.
"We just need to take our chances because we had a few chances (against Central Coast) on the break, but we just need that bit more desire."
Michael Thwaite and Ruben Zadkovich are set to lead their respective teams out on Saturday. Thwaite will captain Perth for the fourth time this season while Zadkovich has been the Jets- Captain since the back end of the 2012-13 season. Both players have plied their trade in Europe and have over 100 Hyundai A-League games experience.
Adam Taggart remains one of the Jets most potent strike options. The former Perth Glory player has six goals for the season although he has not scored since Round 7. International Marquee Emile Heskey played 23 minutes against Adelaide United last week but is still struggling with a knee injury, so the Jets will be banking on their 20-year-old striker to burden their goal-scoring responsibility.
Saturday, 4 January 2014 Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory Hunter Stadium, Newcastle Kick-off: 5:30pm local (5:30pm AEDT) Referee: Matt Gillett
TV Broadcast: 5.30pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive coverage on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand). Radio Broadcast: Full coverage Online/Mobile phone app Second half coverage 1233 ABC Newcastle, 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio Western Australia, Grandstand Digital Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvPER To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Newcastle Jets Squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3. Taylor REGAN, 4. Kew JALIENS, 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 9. Emile HESKEY, 10. Nathan BURNS, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 15. Josh BRILLANTE, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 17, James VIRGILI, 18. James BROWN, 19. Michael BRIDGES, 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 22. Adam TAGGART, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk) Ins: 4. Kew JALIENS (returns from injury) 17. James VIRGILI (promoted), 19. Michael Bridges (promoted) Outs: 14. Josh MITCHELL
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O-NEILL, 4.Ryan EDWARDS, 6.Cameron EDWARDS, 11. Adrian ZAHRA, 14.Steven McGARRY, 15. Isaka CERNAK, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17. Chris HAROLD, 18.Jack DUNCAN, 20. Danny DE SILVA, 22. Ndumba MAKECHE, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES, 25. Riley WOODCOCK, 26.Harry O-BRIEN ** one to be omitted ** Ins: 15. Cameron EDWARDS, 26.Harry O-BRIEN Outs: 7. Jacob BURNS (suspension)