Newcastle Jets vs Western Sydney Wanderers: All you need to know about this A-League match
Ernie Merrick’s men looked sharp in their 2-1 win against the Roar, but had to rely on a wonderful shot from Dimitri Petratos to secure all three points in a match that was undoubtedly overshadowed by the horrific injury to Ronald Vargas during the second half. However, the result sees the Jets flying high in second place, equal with Sydney FC on points and only two behind leaders Melbourne City.
The Wanderers had a much bigger ask of them last weekend, facing their cross-town rivals in the first Sydney Derby of the season and they, for the most part, delivered. Hayden Foxe’s side stunned the Sky Blues early on and raced to a 2-0 lead. However, complacency got the better of the Red and Black, with Sydney recovering thanks to a penalty and a goal from Joshua Brillante ensured that Western Sydney would not be leaving Allianz Stadium with full rewards.
Australia A-League 2017-18
Date: Sunday, 29 October 2017
Kick off at: 7.00 CET/ 11.30 IST
Venue: Hunter Stadium (Newcastle)
Key Battle – Roy O’Donovan vs Vedran Janjetovic
Roy O’Donovan has been one of the signings of the season so far for the Jets, with the Irish striker picking up five goals in the first three rounds, including one last week against Brisbane. If the Wanderers want to stand any chance of leaving Newcastle winners, they need to figure out a way to shut down O’Donovan’s chances, either by man-marking him out of the match, or shutting down any channels and spaces he creates as the lone Jets striker.
If the defence cannot manage to shut down O’Donovan though, then it is clear that Vedran Janjetovic will have to step up and deny the Irishman from adding another to his running tally. Janjetovic looked pretty sharp last week against Sydney FC, but was a little shaky at times in the FFA Cup semi-final against Adelaide mid-week. Janjetovic will have to pull something out of the top drawer to deny O’Donovan and fans are hoping he can provide it for the Red and Black.
The Jets will be missing Vargas, who broke his ankle last week in a horrible incident against Brisbane. Merrick’s side will also have Mario Shabow, Johnny Koutroumbis and Lachlan Jackson at their disposal, with the trio being bumped up into the squad.
Duncan (GK); Boogaard, Vujica, Topor-Stanley, Georgievski, Petratos, Kantarovski, Nabbout, Brown, Ugarkovic, O’Donovan
Western Sydney Wanderers~
Janjetovic (GK); Llorente, Cornthwaite, Risdon, Hamill, Bonevacia, Herd, Baccus, Bridge, Cejudo, Riera.
The Jets are historically well against it when they take on the Wanderers, with Newcastle only grabbing the full three points three times out of the 15 matches played between the two. Western Sydney have the mental advantage, having beaten the Jets eight times, with a current undefeated streak stretching back to March 2015.
The Wanderers made the trip up to Newcastle on April Fools Day and it was Western Sydney who made the fool out of the Jets, with both Robert Cornthwaite and Jaushua Sotirio netting just before the half-time whistle, before another Cornthwaite goal shortly after the second half kicked off ensuring the Wanderers all but booked their spot in the finals, while throwing the Jets back into the vicious fight for the wooden spoon.
Both sides will be entering the match high on confidence, having put in some fantastic effort last round but it is tough to split these two sides. While the Jets have looked very sharp so far this season, Western Sydney showed last week that when they put their mind to it they can take it to almost anyone in this competition. Whether the Wanderers have the mental stamina to outlast the Jets attack remains to be seen, but this match is shaping up to be a game of huge tension.
Newcastle Jets 2 Western Sydney Wanderers 2