Preview: Jets finally return to action at home

After what seems like an age on the sidelines, our Newcastle Jets will finally return to the pitch against Adelaide United as part of a jam-packed double-header at McDonald Jones Stadium this Sunday evening.

Delays brought on by COVID-19 have seen us enter our sixth week of match postponements and the Jets have now missed more games than they have played, with our last match being played against Macarthur FC back in mid-December.

However, that wait seems to be finally over, with Sunday evening at McDonald Jones Stadium providing the perfect stage for our Jets to return with a bang as we welcome an Adelaide United side who are fresh from a strong victory over Brisbane Roar at the weekend.

Our Liberty A-League side will be opening proceedings in what will be an entertaining afternoon of football for the Hunter, as they take on Canberra United in hopes of extending their four-match unbeaten run.


Date: Sunday 30 January

Kick-off: 6:45 pm

Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium



Since: 2005

Played: 48

Jets: 14

Adelaide United: 21

Draw: 13


With the postponement of the F3 Derby last weekend, the Jets have officially played the least amount of games in the competition – only five matches.

It’s been a frustrating period for fans and the players as the side were starting to excite fans with their enterprising football that saw them score the most goals of any team with 10 after the first five rounds.

The Jets will be looking at this clash with Adelaide as a second season-opener of sorts, and although they have some ground to make up with a busy schedule on the horizon, they sit just three points adrift of the top-six.

Adelaide on the other hand has played the most games of any team in the competition with nine, and sit six points ahead of us in fifth place on the ladder.

The Jets are chasing their 15th victory against the side, with Adelaide claiming 21 wins of the two sides’ previous meetings. Our team will also be looking to break a five-game winless streak against Adelaide at home, however the ledger still reads a tight affair when playing at McDonald Jones Stadium, with the hosts having their nose in front with nine wins over Adelaide’s eight and five draws.


Although we’ve been away from the A-League pitch for some weeks, the Jets firepower is still well represented in the league statistics, with names like Beqa Mikeltadze and Daniel Penha still ranking near the top for goals scored and goals assisted respectively.

Mikeltadze has four goals to his name – one-off league leaders Jamie Maclaren and Craig Goodwin – and Penha has three assists who only just sits in second behind Marco Rojas who has five.

Adelaide United’s top goal scorer and ex-Newcastle Jet Craig Goodwin will likely be a notable absentee for the side in this weekend’s clash after he was called up to the Socceroos’ squad for their World Cup qualifier against Vietnam. Adelaide’s second all-time top goalscorer’s potential omission from the side won’t concern them however, with the side boasting six other goal-scorers already this season.

Our Jets will be looking to resume their high-octane style of play that has been a key feature of their early matches. It’s lead to a strong attacking game as our side possesses the highest goal expectancy of any other side with two goals a match.


Matt Jurman (Newcastle Jets)

O’ captain my captain! Matt Jurman has stepped into the leadership role in his first year with the Club and the defender has become a key player in our new-look defensive line.

The 32-year-old has featured in all five of our opening matches and has played every minute of the games he has featured in.

The tall defender has formed a strong partnership with Jordan Elsey, and the two have become mainstays at the back since their arrival.

A Wollongong-Native, Jurman boasts the highest successful pass percentage of anyone in the side, clocking in at an average of almost 65 successful passes a match.

He will have to be at his best to defuse Adelaide’s attack, but with the league veteran averaging almost four clearances per match to go along with Jordan Elsey’s number of 4.5, the side will be confident of turning the visitors away more times than not.

Stefan Mauk (Adelaide United)

United captain Stefan Mauk is fresh from a strong performance against Brisbane Roar last round, where the central-midfielder scored and assisted another in their 3-1 victory.

Mauk is in his second stint with Adelaide United and recently celebrated his 50th appearance with the club.

A premiership-winner with Melbourne City in the 2015-16 season, Mauk has gone on to become a key figure in the youthful Adelaide United squad and his experience from his time in the Dutch Eredivisie has made him a valuable asset to a squad that has an average player age of 23.6 – the second youngest squad in the competition behind Wellington Phoenix.

Expect the dynamic midfielder to be in the thick of the action this Sunday as the 26-year-old has featured in all nine of Adelaide’s games this season, providing eight-shot assists during those matches. Our Jets will be sure to keep a close eye on Mauk when close to goal also, with the midfielder having 22 shots to his name so far this season, which accompanies his two goals.


Our Jets will be looking to come away with all three points this Sunday, with the side sitting in 11th position on the ladder – albeit with significantly fewer played matches.

A victory could see the Jets launch as high as 8th spot on the ladder, and most importantly within striking distance of the top-six.

This fixture has provided its fair share of stalemates since the two teams first faced each other back in 2005, with 13 draws being recorded including five of those being at McDonald Jones Stadium. With that being said, this seems unlikely to be the case this time around as there hasn’t been a draw in our last five meetings.

We expect the game to be a thrilling affair as both teams have showcased dominant football in the opening rounds of the competition. The Jets lead the competition for the highest average possession per match with almost 64% and the statistic has fast become a signature of the side since manager Arthur Papas’ arrival at the club. However, Adelaide have the second-highest average with 55.5% of possession each game.

Additionally, both teams enjoy their attacking raids in the final third. The Jets lead the competition for shots on target with an average of six per match and United are just behind with five a game.

In the disciplinary department, Adelaide United are currently struggling as they lead the competition with 26 yellow cards, whilst the Jets have the fewest – with only five.