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A-League preview: Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets
Off-field financial dramas will hang closely over the heads of the Jets' players, so how will they cope in a tricky trip to Perth to meet the Glory?
Risdon, Thwaite, Van den Brink, Jamieson
Dodd, Miller, Burns, Heffernan
Neville, Mitchell, Tiago, Ritter
Brillante, Zadkovich, Goodwin
Griffiths, Heskey, Taggart
Ignoring the drama in the boardroom, Jets coach Gary van Egmond could rush Adam Taggart straight into his starting line-up for the trip after the 19-year-old striker's scoring exploits with Australia national team in Hong Kong.
Taggart was a surprise selection by Holger Osieck for the East Asian Cup qualifying tournament, having only played just 96 minutes this season.
But scored two goals in Australia's final match against Chinese Taipei last Sunday and - with the Jets having failed to score in three of their past four games - Taggart may be the answer for Van Egmond's problems up front.
Van Egmond will have Ryan Griffiths and Josh Mitchell back against the Glory after they were banned from the Jets' 2-0 loss to Central Coast last Sunday, although captain Jobe Wheelhouse will still be out with a knee injury. Tiago Calvano also returns to the squad, with James Brown the big omission.
For Perth, Michael Thwaite and Scott Jamieson will return from international duty as Ian Ferguson attempts to snap a five-game winless streak. The Glory coach is hopeful Liam Miller and Ryo Nagai will be fit enough to play, which would add much-needed creativity.
Glory have scored two goals in their past five A-League matches and, like Newcastle, have been kept scoreless in three of their past four.
Can Ferguson inject enough creativity into his team to give Shane Smeltz and Billy Mehmet a chance to score?
While Miller may be seen as the answer, the Irishman does not produce enough defence-splitting passes and Ferguson may have to throw Nagai, who impressed during pre-season, straight into action on Friday if Glory are to win.
With both teams having troubles up front and desperate to end respective two-game losing streaks, this game looks destined to go to the wire.
Three points beckon for either team if they can find a way to get their misfiring strikers to hit form. But if the match remains level with half an hour to go, expect the beleaguered Jets to settle for a draw away from home.
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Top 3 Predictions
Perth Glory 2-1 Newcastle Jets
- 18.52 %
Perth Glory 1-0 Newcastle Jets
- 14.82 %
Perth Glory 3-0 Newcastle Jets
- 7.41 %
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||08/03/2013||Newcastle Jets 1 - Perth Glory 2|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||14/12/2012||Perth Glory 3 - Newcastle Jets 0|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||03/11/2012||Perth Glory 3 - Newcastle Jets 2|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||18/02/2012||Perth Glory 2 - Newcastle Jets 0|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||31/12/2011||Newcastle Jets 1 - Perth Glory 1|
|05/04/2013||Melbourne Victory 2 - Perth Glory 1||AUS1|
|30/03/2013||Perth Glory 1 - Adelaide United 1||AUS1|
|23/03/2013||Melbourne Victory 2 - Perth Glory 3||AUS1|
|17/03/2013||Perth Glory 1 - Wellington Phoenix 2||AUS1|
|08/03/2013||Newcastle Jets 1 - Perth Glory 2||AUS1|
|-||Bas Van den Brink||Defender|
|23||Ryan Alan Griffiths||Striker|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed