PREVIEW: Clash of styles as Jets meet Western in Ballarat

This weekend our side face off with one of the in-form teams in the competition as our Jets head to Ballarat for a date with Western United.

Over the past two matches our side have avoided defeated with one win and one draw to our names against the Wanderers and Macarthur, and we’re back on the road again after a busy month of football.

We come up against a side who are enjoying a purple patch of form as Western United are on a seven-game unbeaten run, and have put up the best defensive numbers in the competition this season so far.

United currently sit at the equal-top of the table with Melbourne City, but have two games in hand. They’ll be meeting at Mars Stadium though, a place where Western have struggled in the past.

Here’s the full breakdown of Saturday afternoon clash:


Date: Saturday 5 March 2022

Kick-off: 3:05pm

Venue: Mars Stadium

How to Watch: Paramount+


Played: 5

Jets: 2

Draws: 1

Western: 2


This Saturday we head to the atypical location of Ballarat for the first time in our history.

Since Western joined the competition at the beginning of 2019/20 season, we’ve met five times in the league and the results have been identical with two wins and a draw each.

This will be just Western’s sixth game at the venue, and it’s a place they haven’t received much luck at. The only time they’ve experienced victory there was last season when they defeated Macarthur, however they’ve tasted defeat on all other occasions.

Our opponents have still yet to hold a team to nil when playing at Mars Stadium, but they haven’t confronted that same trend throughout their 14 games played this season, with eight clean sheets to their name.


Earlier in the season, our new-look Jets walked out for their first competitive match in the FFA Cup, with Western United as our opponents.

If fans can cast their minds back to that game, the result didn’t go our way despite a strong showing and while a lot has changed and occurred across the league since that day, our side may have a bit of revenge on their minds and look at the fixture as a chance to show how far they’ve progressed since.

Daniel Penha stamped himself as a man to watch in spectacular from that game after firing home an incredible free-kick, while Angus Thurgate had what looked-like a certain goal denied. Both those players have performed as two of our best and most-consistent since then and will be looked to once again this Saturday.

Lachlan Wales and Aleksandar Prijovic were both goalscorers for Western that night, with the latter kicking on since then with five goals to his name.


Sam Silvera (Newcastle Jets)

A flying youngster out wide put in a strong performance last weekend in what was his second start for the Club, earning himself man of the match honours from the 68 minutes he appeared.

The winger caused some danger with threatening runs in the first half and could have had a couple of goals to his name – even hitting the post on one occasion after a thundering shot.

If the 21-year-old is able to continue that form this Saturday, and turn those half-chances into greater opportunities for himself and his teammates, our side will continue to be a big danger going forward.

Whether he’s in the starting line up again, or features from the bench, look for Silvera to try and make a big impact as he did last time out.

Josh Risdon (Western United)

The former Socceroo has shone in the first half of the season and is not only acts as a tremendous covering defender at the back, but a force to watch out for with his overlapping runs out wide and going forward.

Risdon has managed four man of the match performances this season – the most in the league – and leads the league in tackles made by a strong margin, contributing to his team’s eight clean sheets.

Additionally he’s made over 30 interceptions and clearances, and is a strong dribbler when going forward, putting opposition’s teams under pressure.

Our side will need to figure out a way to limit his involvement if we are to increase our chances of victory.


Both teams sit on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to general goal stats.

So far this season, Western are averaging 1.2 goals a game, while our Jets are second in the league with 1.7. However it’s a different story in the goals conceded, with Western leading the league with 0.8 goals a game, compared to our 1.8.

Regardless of that, there’s still only been one game where Western United have been kept scoreless – coming in their Round One, 1-nil loss – and it’s the same for our Jets who were only kept scoreless by Melbourne City away from home.

Similarly to last weekend, Western also tend to allow their oppositions to keep the ball, as they sit on the bottom on the possession stats with 43% a game, which is in direct contrast with the Jets who are the best in the league at keeping possession, with 57% a game.

Western have been able to create more big chances though, with 19 to our 17, however they’ve also missed two more as well.