Match Preview: Jets return home for Wellington clash

After a thrilling fightback against last weekend, the Jets return home to McDonald Jones Stadium to host Wellington Phoenix in a huge Double Header fixture this Friday night.

The evening fixture will be jam-packed, with the Jets Liberty A-League side also facing the Phoenix, providing the Hunter with a great night of football.

Wellington has had mixed results to start the year, but after back-to-back games at their adopted home ground of WIN Stadium, travel to Newcastle to take on a spirited Jets outfit who are continuing their search for their first victory of the new campaign.


Date: Friday, 10th December

Kick-off: 7:45 pm

Gates open: 4:00pm

Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium



Since: 2007

Played: 41

Jets: 13

Wellington Phoenix: 22

Draw: 6


Last weekend’s draw saw the Jets become the first team in nine years to come back from two goals down against Sydney away from home.

The fixture showed the new-look Jets are still working on nailing down their combinations, fans will be quietly confident they won’t be waiting much longer for wins, with the side controlling long periods of their three opening matches.

Last week marked the second time this season that the Jets held over 60% of possession, which is emblematic of the play-style this new team are looking to bring under Manager Arthur Papas.

Phoenix is recovering from their first defeat of the campaign, going down to Western Sydney, 2-0. Phoenix turned that result around during the week though after defeating Western United in Geelong in their FFA Cup clash.


This clash shapes to be an exciting matchup as both sides have shown they know how to score goals.

The Jets have scored the most of any team in the competition currently with five, and Phoenix have netted three in their opening games.

Valentino Yuel is currently on top of the goal-scorer charts with three after last week’s brace against Sydney, whilst Phoenix’s Gary Hooper currently has two to his name.

Our side have begun to excite fans and become entertainers of the competition, but they will be looking to address some defensive lapses, which has seen the side concede six goals, whilst Phoenix have conceded four.


Angus Thurgate (Newcastle Jets)

You could be forgiven for forgetting Angus Thurgate is only 21 years old, as he has become a mainstay with the squad since his debut as a teenager in 2018 and has already made 70 appearances.

Affectionately known as ‘Gus’, he is a notable toiler in the midfield, and his energy and willingness to compete on every play sees him pop up all over the pitch, leading him to become a linchpin in the side’s attack.

This Friday, Gus will be in the centre of the action wherever he goes, where he will be looking to link up with the front three in Yuel, Mikeltadze and Boumal, who will all be hungry to continue adding to their goal tally.

Gary Hooper (Wellington Phoenix)

Hooper, who returns to the Phoenix after a year away in the India Super League, is a clinical striker on his day and has already scored two goals from the opening three games of the season, moving his total for the club to 10 goals.

The 33-year-old has over 15 years of experience in professional football, featuring in the Premier League with Norwich City and most notably an 82 goal stint across three seasons with Celtic, in the Scottish Premiership.

Look for Hooper to pop up in and around the box, ready to latch onto any ball that comes his way with his devastating right-foot, with the Englishman producing five shots on target so far this season.


The two sides share a rich history at McDonald Jones Stadium, with 18 matches being played at the ground. However, the Jets will have to overcome their poor home record against the Phoenix, with the Jets claiming only seven wins from those matches.

The Jets have certainly displayed an appetite to move the ball around the park under coach Arthur Papas, with the side completing the most passes (1,755) of any team in the league, whilst Phoenix has completed the least (1,232).

From the past five matches, it’s been a back-and-forth recent history with our side securing two wins to Wellington’s three, and only one draw being experienced in the past 11 clashes.

Of the expected lineups, Jets defender Jason Hoffman has the most goals of the fixture with five and will be looking to bag his first of the season in front of the Jets faithful this Friday.