Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Western United FC
Western United FC
Newcastle Jets and Western United are set to continue Round 17 of the A-League season at McDonald Jones Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, with the game kicking off 5:00pm (AEDT).
Newcastle Jets haven’t been in the best of form, and they currently sit in the last place on the table, four points behind derby rivals Central Coast Mariners. They have not managed a single point in their last four games, with their last point coming in a draw against Brisbane Roar on December 28. They have only managed one point in eight games.
Some bad news has come out during the week about the injury to Lachlan Jackson, with the 24-year-old centre back set to miss the rest of the season after rupturing his left anterior cruciate ligament as well as tearing both his lateral meniscus and medial ligament.
Glen Moss has also announced that he will retire at the end of the season. However, Wes Hoolahan – their marque signing – has returned to the squad after a knee injury and could make his A-League debut, most likely off the bench. They also welcome new signing Connor O’Toole, who may start at left back.
Western United are coming off the back of an exciting 4-3 loss to Adelaide United, where they were 3-1 down after 20 minutes. They lacked intensity in the press in the first half and Adelaide used the full length of the field to make what was a usually deep five at the back push forward. They also used the pace of Nikola Mileusnic and George Blackwood to get balls in behind. It was an extremely smart tactic from Gertjan Verbeek and one that Mark Rudan will be looking to mummify heading into this clash.
Dario Jertec has been included in the extended squad but will most likely not feature after having been left out of multiple match-day squads in the past few weeks. They are currently seeking a replacement, with Western United trialling Swedish midfielder Junes Barny, who is proficient in both defensive midfield and centre midfield but can also play centre forward if needed.
Despite Newcastle adding Hoolahan back to their match-day squad, until he is fully fit, I don’t think they will produce too much against a defensive Western United side.
2-0 to Western United.
Where: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
When: 5.00pm (AEDT)
Coverage: Fox Sports
Odds: Newcastle $2.00, draw $3.50, Western United $3.60