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Newcastle Jets v Gold Coast United preview

Sixth hosts third in what has the potential to be a very exciting encounter at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets are flying high, unbeaten in their past six, and now in a very strong position to remain in one of the six finals spots on the table.

The inclusion of English forward Francis Jeffers has been a godsend with the former Everton and Arsenal man's arrival coinciding with the Hunter club's hot streak.

He managed to open his account last Wednesday against the Melbourne Heart before supplying the deadly ball for the Jets' second goal as they defied the odds to win 2-0 with ten men.

That performance should give them plenty of heart but it seems there may be a little bit of complacency creeping in, following comments made by captain Ljubo Milicevic that he would have no Gold Coast player, besides Jason Culina, in his side. Double that with the fact that coach Branko Culina was unhappy with yesterday's final training session and this match could spell danger for the Jets if they do not come out with a determined attitude to record all three points against a quality outfit.

In the Gold Coast camp, things are going along well after two solid wins (3-0 over the Heart and 2-0 against Wellington) allowing them to go clear of Central Coast Mariners in third place on the table.

The loss of midfielder Robson and defender Kristian Rees to injury and suspension respectively could hurt but they have been boosted by the return of striker Joel Porter and news that midfield duo Jason Culina and Zenon Caravella should pass fit to play is most welcoming.

This is tough match to pick as the Jets go well at home but United are capable of getting results wherever they play.

Verdict: 1-1 draw

Newcastle Jets v Gold Coast UnitedDate: Wednesday 15 December, 2010 Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Local kick-off: 7.00pm Referee: Ryan Shepheard Head-to-Head: All matches (played 5): Newcastle Jets wins 2, Gold Coast United wins 2 (1 draw) Match fact: After remaining undefeated in its past six matches, Newcastle Jets are now aiming to equal its record longest undefeated streak in the Hyundai A-League (seven) against Gold Coast United.

Newcastle Jets squad: 40. Matthew NASH (gk), 2. Taylor REGAN, 3. Adam D'APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 7. Kasey WEHRMAN, 9. Zhang SHUO 10. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 11. Tarek ELRICH 13. Sasho PETROVSKI, 14. Labinot HALITI, 17. Marcello FIORENTINI, 18. Marko JESIC, 19. Ali ABASS, 21. Brodie MOOY 22. Kaz PATAFTA 24. Francis JEFFERS 50. Jack DUNCAN (GK) *three to be omitted* In: Zhang SHUO (promoted), Kaz PATAFTA (promoted) Out: Jobe WHEELHOUSE (suspension), Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee - 6-8 weeks) Unavailable: Neil YOUNG (illness - indefinite), Michael Bridges (Knee - six weeks), , Jeremy BROCKIE (Broken foot - 6 to 8 weeks), 5. Sean ROONEY (knee-season), Ben KENNEDY (GK) (knee - two weeks) 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE (suspension - two weeks)

Gold Coast United squad: 1.Glen MOSS [gk], 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.ANDERSON, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 11.Bruce DJITE, 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 18.James BROWN, 19.Andrew BARISIC, 20.Scott HIGGINS [gk], 22.Adama TRAORE, 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 24.John CURTIS, 29.Zac ANDERSON, 31.Josh BRILLANTE, 32.Steven LUSTICA *five to be omitted* Joel PORTER (return from hamstring injury), Tahj MINNIECON (return from ankle injury), ANDERSON (promoted), Steve FITZSIMMONS (promoted), Zac ANDERSON (promoted), Josh BRILLANTE (promoted), Steven LUSTICA (promoted)

Out: ROBSON (knee injury - 1 week), Kristian REES (suspended - 1 game) Unavailable: Chris BROADFOOT (knee injury - 6 weeks), Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle injury - indefinite), Matt OSMAN (knee injury - indefinite)

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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