Newcastle Jets will be looking to halt their slide down the A-League ladder when they host Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium this afternoon in the first of an A-League Saturday night triple-header. We’ll have live scores from 5.30pm AEDT.
Was Adelaide United’s festive season slump, in which they were hammered 6-1 by Western Sydney before losing 1-0 to Brisbane Roar at home on Boxing Day, a mere blimp on the radar?
Their resounding 3-0 win at home on New Year’s Eve ensured John Kosmina’s men would enter 2013 in the top-two, a position they have occupied since the opening weekend of the season.
They’ll get a chance to solidify their lofty status this afternoon when they travel to Newcastle to face a Jets side whose season is beginning to spiral out of control.
Their 2-1 loss to Melbourne Heart on Tuesday meant Gary van Egmond’s side would return home empty-handed from a two-game Melbourne road trip.
That’s four losses in six matches for the Jets and even the most ardent Jets supporter would find it hard to argue that eighth position on the A-League ladder isn’t reflective of their season.
But this afternoon they return home and should play in front of another solid Hunter Stadium crowd, who have largely stuck by a team who have disappointed over and over again during the first 14 matches of the campaign.
As evidenced by Golgol Mebrahtu’s fifth-minute opener on Tuesday, Newcastle are sorely lacking a defensive presence in midfield due to ongoing injuries to captain Jobe Wheelhouse and Ben Kantarovski – though the skipper could return after being named in an extended squad on Thursday.
If not, it’s hard to see how Newcastle can control the numerous attacking weapons Kosmina has up his sleeve, particularly his chief destroyer Dario Vidosic.
The number ten has been heads and shoulders above his opponents all season and if gets his way this afternoon, Adelaide will return home with a point at the very least.