PREVIEW: Midweek clash chance to bounce back

With last week’s disappointing result squarely in the rear-view mirror, our Newcastle Jets now return home for the first of two home consecutive fixtures this week, starting against Western Sydney Wanderers at McDonald Jones Stadium this Wednesday evening.

After going down to Melbourne City on Friday night, our team will now be looking to get back in the winner’s circle as too will our opponents who most recently went down to Western United.

The clash shapes as the latest instalment in the new brewing rivalry that’s been forged over recent years, with many players featuring for the opposing side at different points in their career.

It will also be the second of three meetings scheduled for this season with their earlier clash in round two ending in a 2-all draw.

When: Wednesday 23 February

Kick-off: 7:55 pm

Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium



Since: 2012

Played: 26

Jets: 8

Wanderers: 9

Draw: 9


After playing their last two fixtures in Melbourne – where we claimed a strong win against Victory before faltering against reigning-champions City – our Jets will now return home and enjoy two games in four days at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The Jets will be looking to take three points in front of a home crowd, whilst the visitors will be determined to get their season back on track after a tumultuous last few months that resulted in coach Carl Robinson being relieved from his duties as Head Coach.

As the ledger suggests this fixture is a hotly contested one with the Jets claiming eight wins and the Wanderers nine wins from their 26 meetings.

The visitors won’t be concerned travelling up the M1 however, as they stand good-stead when playing the Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium bagging six wins from the 12 matches played at the venue, with the Jets enjoying just three wins on home turf.


This fixture has become an interesting clash even for passive observers over recent years, with the Wanderers in particular featuring many former Jets players. Dimi Petratos, Johnny Koutroumbis and Steven Ugarkovic are just three names that Jets fans will be familiar with, with all three players spending large portions of their career in the Hunter.

Whilst Wanderers fans will remember the 24 appearances now-Jets captain Matt Jurman made for their side in the 2019/20 campaign, as well as Jordan O’Doherty who made 35 appearances. Kosta Grozos, Sam Silvera and Mo Al-Taay are also products of the Wanderers system.

For this reason don’t be surprised if there are some flashpoints on the field, with those players desperate to get one over their old team and help propel their current side toward the top half of the table.

History shows it will most likely be a tight affair, with the last five clashes having produced three draws, and the Jets recording their last win in the fixture in Round Nine of 2019.


Jason Hoffman (Newcastle Jets)

The veteran is among the first picked on the team list each week with the versatile defender boasting over 250 games of A-League experience – the most of any player in the side.

‘Hoffy’ has become synonymous with the Jets since rejoining the club in 2015 and is the only player remaining from our championship winning season in 2008.

Hoffman has appeared in all 10 of our matches so far this season and whilst he hasn’t opened his goal account yet this year, his experience on the park has been invaluable.

Occupying a spot in the defensive line for this season, the hometown hero has continued to be an important cog in our new-look squad for this season. He’s averaging two clearances a game and is one of the team’s most efficient passers with an average of over 43 successful passes a match.

Although the 33-year old is in the midst of a goal drought, he isn’t a stranger to scoring against the Wanderers having found the back of the net three times against them previously.

Jack Rodwell (Western Sydney Wanderers)

Rodwell was unveiled by the Wanderers as a big international player for the upcoming season and although it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the club in many aspects, Rodwell has been a shining light and has proved to be an astute acquisition by the club.

The Englishman arrived at Western Sydney after spending his career in his native leagues, making a name for himself at clubs such as Manchester City and Everton. Rodwell proved himself to be of good pedigree during his early years, representing England on three occasions before making a move to the lower leagues – most notably a 67-game stint with Sunderland.

The midfielder has two goals from eight appearances since arriving in Australia, with the 30-year-old’s strike against Perth Glory a few weeks back sealing their third win of the season. He will have the Jets wary of his presence after completing over 88% of his passes pitting him among the highest for the team.


Although we currently sit 11th on the ladder with just two wins in our last five matches, a win on Wednesday could see us jump to eighth place and leaving us just four points out of the top six.

Our recent history against Western Sydney bodes well as our opponents have only claimed victory on one occasion from our past 11 matches.

Despite having a good record at McDonald Jones Stadium, the Wanderers have struggled whilst on the road this season having not claimed a victory in their last five away matches. For our Jets, we will be looking to bag our third victory at home this season.

Our team are still among the most dangerous sides in the competition despite some inconsistent results, with the side sitting with the second-highest average this season of 1.7 goals a game. On the other side of the field, the Wanderers languish with the third-lowest average with 1.1 goals a game.