A-League preview: Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United

The Jets return home after a miserable week in Melbourne, while the Reds travel to Newcastle in winning form after trouncing Sydney FC on New Year's Eve
GOAL.com Indonesia   By GOAL.COM


Brillante, Chapman, Calvano, Ritter
Zadkovich, Wheelhouse, Goodwin
Virgili, Heskey, Griffiths


Bowles, Fyfe, McKain, Cassio
Vidosic, Watson, Carrusca
Kostopoulos, Djite, Ramsay

After almost a week in Melbourne, Gary van Egmond and his Newcastle Jets return to familiar surroundings as they play host to second-placed Adelaide United on Saturday.

The Jets' time in Melbourne was not an enjoyable experience, suffering defeats to both Victory and Heart, despite having arrived in the state with confidence following a dominant win over Sydney FC.

Five goals were conceded in two games at AAMI Park, meaning the Jets have failed to keep a clean sheet all season and further highlighting the team's defensive frailties.

The Hunter Valley outfit sit in eighth position, a solitary point adrift of an A-League finals berth despite a dreadful run of results, which consists of five defeats from six games.

And with right-back Scott Neville expected to miss Saturday's fixture, pressure will be on whoever is selected to perform at Hunter Stadium.

In better news for the Jets, captain Jobe Wheelhouse returns from injury, while van Egmond could make sweeping changes to his team after adding six other names to his squad.

Coincidently, the Jets have not kept a clean sheet since defeating the Reds 2-0 in February, 2011 during the 2011-12 season.

As for Adelaide United, they continue to march toward their first top-two finish since the 2008-09 season.

John Kosmina's team were beaten in consecutive matches for the first time this term when they were annihilated 6-1 by new boys Western Sydney Wanderers and 1-0 at the hands of defending champions Brisbane Roar five days later.

But the Reds bounced back on New Year's Eve, comfortably accounting for cellar-dwellers Sydney FC 3-0.

And they are now firmly entrenched in the top two, two points behind pacesetters Central Coast Mariners and five points clear of Western Sydney with 14 rounds completed.

Nigel Boogaard is out with a hamstring injury, with either Jon McKain or Antony Golec to take his place in defence.  Defensive midfielder Osama Malik is also back in contention.
But how will Adelaide United fare in their first away trip since that thrashing against Western Sydney?

The Reds promised so much in the lead up but were ripped to shreds by a rampant Wanderers side, losing 6-1 on December 21.

Adelaide were a shadow of what we have come to expect this season.

Strong defensively and in the attacking third, the Reds are capable of sweeping all before them but need to snap a two-game losing run away from home, with seven of their final 13 regular-season games on the road.

Goal Australia has its own and account, so for all the latest news and features on Australian football follow us by clicking on the above links