Thankfully for the people of Newcastle, the Jets have bounced back to form in their past two games with inspiring performances against the top two teams in the league.
It started last Saturday when they completely outclassed second-placed Adelaide United 3-1 and it rolled into Wednesday night when they dominated league leaders Brisbane Roar but were in the end unlucky to not get more than a 1-1 draw.
Tomorrow night they take on the Wellington Phoenix who are badly out of form, losing three of their last four and copping 10 goals in those three losses.
The Central Coast Mariners cut them open at home last week and they will need to find a quick fix in their gaping defence before things get embarrassing.
This week’s re-signing of no less than five key players could unite the playing group but at the moment I can’t see where the Phoenix will get their goals from as Paul Ifill and Chris Greenacre have not fired a shot in recent weeks and their last two goals have come from midfielder Tim Brown who is out suspended.
Newcastle have shown enough in their last two to suggest they have turned the corner and even without key midfielder Ruben Zadkovich and centre-half Ljubo Milicevic, who are both out due to suspension, they will have enough to notch up a win at home.
Verdict: Jets 2-0
Newcastle Jets vs. Wellington Phoenix
Date: Saturday, 20 November 2010
Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle
Local kick-off: 7:00pm
Referee: Gerard Parsons
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 10): Newcastle Jets wins 3, Wellington Phoenix wins 6 (1 draw)
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD & Sky Sport 2 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 1233 ABC Newcastle and The Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM. To purchase tickets visit www.proticket.com.au
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Taylor REGAN, 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR STANLEY, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI 7. Kasey WEHRMAN, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 13. Sasho PETROVSKI, 14. Labinot HALITI, 15. Sean ROONEY, 17. Marcello FIORENTINI, 18. Marko JESIC, 19. Ali ABASS, 22.Kaz PATAFTA 24. Francis Jeffers 40. Matthew NASH 9. Zhang SHUO *one to be omitted*
In: Zhang SHUO (promoted)
Out: Ruben ZADKOVICH (suspension), Ljubo MILICEVIC (suspension)
Unavailable: Neil YOUNG (illness – indefinite), Michael Bridges (knee - six weeks), Jobe WHEELHOUSE (hip - indefinite), Brodie MOOY (shin splints - indefinite), Jeremy BROCKIE (broken foot - 6 to 8 weeks)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 4. Nick WARD, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC, 15. Jade NORTH, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Dylan MACALLISTER, 26. Simon ELLIOTT *one to be omitted*
In: Mirjan PAVLOVIC (promoted)
Out: Tim BROWN (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: Tony LOCHHEAD (groin – 4 weeks), Oscar ROBERT CORNEJO (knee – 4 weeks)