Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory will clash in Round 2 of the 2013-14 A-League season at Hunter Stadium on Sunday October 20 at 3:00pm AEDT.
Neville, Chapman, Jaliens, Gallaway
Brillante/Caravella, ZadkovichVirgili, Taggart, Goodwin
Risdon, Pantelidis, O'Neill/Thwaite, Jamieson
Nagai, Maclaren, Sidnei
Played: 28, Wins: Jets 6, Glory 16, Draws: 6
Jets 1-2 Glory, March 8 2013
Past five matches [including pre-season]:
Both teams suffered defeats in the opening round of the season, but the Jets have more to make amends for after their insipid display in the 2013-14 curtain-raiser away to Sydney FC. Gary van Egmond's team is packed full of talented youngsters, but they rolled over with barely a whimper at Allianz Stadium last Friday, allowing Alessandro Del Piero to waltz in and score the opening goal. Glory meanwhile were on the wrong end of a 3-1 loss away to Adelaide, and unable to take advantage of the fact their hosts finished the game with nine men. It's early days yet through, meaning both Van Egmond and Alistair Edwards will be confident of an improved showing this weekend.
The big issue:
Jets – Captain Zenon Caravella had a dire game against Sydney, at fault for Del Piero's goal and withdrawn in favour of Josh Brillante in the second half. Does Van Egmond keep faith with his experienced skipper, or promote Brillante to the starting XI for the visit of Perth?
Glory – Edwards will want his team to be tighter at the back and sharper up front. Young striker Jamie Maclaren, likely to start again in place of the injured Shane Smeltz, missed some good chances at Coopers Stadium, while experimental centre-back duo of Brandon O'Neill and Steve Pantelidis must do better if they are to prevent an instant return for Michael Thwaite when the defender regains full fitness. He is rated a 50-50 chance for this week's game.
The game breaker:
Ryo Nagai – Perth's on-loan Japanese forward threatened at times without dominating against Adelaide, although did get on the score sheet for the Glory. Much is expected of a talented player who was criminally neglected by Ian Ferguson but has been an impressive regular under Edwards. Watch out for him cutting in from the right flank and worrying the Jets' backline.
Prediction: Jets 1-2 Glory
Newcastle will be determined to improve on their disappointing first-up showing, but it might take more than a week to address the issues which saw them comprehensively fail to threaten in the final third, as well as giving away the ball far too much for a team intent of playing possession football. Perth meanwhile might deem themselves somewhat unfortunate to have lost by two clear goals in South Australia, and if Maclaren brings his shooting boots, Edwards' side could well notch an away win.