Preview: Jets tackle Phoenix


The Newcastle Jets will play host to the Wellington Phoenix this weekend, as they look to continue a run of four consecutive wins at McDonald Jones Stadium.

A victory over Darije Kalezic’s side would set an all-time record for the club and further cement the Jets position at the pointy end of the Hyundai A-League ladder.

Ernie Merrick welcomes back midfielder, Ben Kantarovski from injury and has retained Foxtel NYL gun, Angus Thurgate in his match day squad.

The Port Macquarie product, who made his debut off the bench last week against the Roar became the 160th capped Newcastle Jet.

Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said he would be giving the likes of Ben Kantarovski and Pato Rodriguez every chance to prove their fitness for the Round 17 clash.

“Pato has been managed carefully this week, after being on the end of a horrible challenge last weekend,” said Merrick.

“Ben has been progressing well over the last few weeks and is very close to full fitness, we’ll be giving him every chance to play after missing a couple of games during a busy fortnight.”

Merrick also has the luxury of welcoming back Olyroos, Nick Cowburn, Joe Champness and Riley McGree earlier than expected – following the U23 side being knocked out in the group stages of the AFC U23 Championships.

“Riley is heading back via Adelaide and won’t be available this week, but we’ll assess Joey and Nick and see how they pull up after a long flight home,” added Merrick.

The former Phoenix coach knows all too well how difficult the trip across the ditch can be, but he’s expecting a tough challenge.

“Phoenix are going to be a very difficult prospect, they’ve made some good signings in January with the like of Nathan Burns and Matija Ljujic joining the club.

“They’re all playing together well, and with Krishna and Kaluderovic up front they’ve got plenty of attacking options.

“There’s no easy games in this league and we have to be prepared.

“It’s going to be a really tough one, completely different from the first match we played against them.”                                         

Fixture Fact:

Overall – 32 matches: Jets – 10, Phoenix – 17, Drawn – 5

By the numbers:

  • Newcastle Jets have picked up three wins and a draw in their last four games against Wellington Phoenix at McDonald Jones Stadium.
  • Newcastle have won their last four home games on the bounce, a fifth consecutive win would set an outright club record for longest home winning streak.
  • Dimitri Petratos has made 11 direct free kick shots at goal this season, the second-most of any player behind Ross McCormack (12).
  • The Jets are undefeated against the Nix at home across the last 3 seasons.

Saturday 20 January 2018

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix

McDonald Jones Stadium

Kick-Off: 5:35PM (AEDT)

Referee: Jarred Gillett

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 5pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live

Join the conversation: #NEWvWEL

To purchase tickets: http://bit.ly/NEWvWEL

Newcastle Jets Squad: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 10.Wayne BROWN, 11.Patricio RODRIGUEZ, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 25.Antonee BURKE, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (return from injury), 25.Antonee BURKE (promoted)

Outs: N/A

Unavailable: 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (groin – 6 weeks), 14.Riley MCGREE (international duty), 16.Nick COWBURN (international duty), 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS (international duty)


Wellington Phoenix Squad: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 7.Nathan BURNS, 8.Matija LJUJIC, 9.Andrija KALUDJEROVIC, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 19.Tom DOYLE, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Logan ROGERSON, 30.Keegan SMITH (gk)

**one to be omitted**

Ins: 14.Alex RUFER (promoted), 18.Sarpeet SINGH (promoted), 24. Logan ROGERSON (promoted), 30.Keegan SMITH (gk) (promoted)

Outs: 6.Dylan FOX (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 4.Goran PARACKI (suspended), 20.Oliver SAIL (gk) (omitted)

Unavailable: Nil