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Reds hunting for successive wins against Newcastle

Adelaide United training

Adelaide United will be hoping to extend its four-match unbeaten streak and capitalise on Newcastle Jets’ lack of match sharpness at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.

The Reds secured its second win of the campaign and first away from home last weekend after a solid 3-1 triumph over Brisbane Roar.

Three points will go a long way to consolidating a place in the top six with the Reds currently in fifth spot have played more matches than some of their opponents.

Newcastle is one of those sides. The Jets have not played a competitive game since December 19 and have had six consecutive league fixtures postponed due to COVID-19 cases.

Michael Jakobsen and Carl Veart in the pre-match build-up discussed the need to bring the intensity early against an eager Novocastrian outfit, and then take advantage of weary legs in the second stanza given the dearth of match minutes.

Team news

Carl Veart almost has a full squad to choose from for the clash. Isaías is suspended after accumulating a fifth yellow card, while Craig Goodwin is unavailable, due to international duty for the Socceroos. Nick Ansell, Kusini Yengi and James Delianov remain on the long-term injury list.

What the experts say

John Kosmina: Adelaide’s results belie their form. They have played some good football without getting the results their play may have warranted. The Jets haven’t played for a month but are dynamite in attack and have some good individual players.

Lucas Pantelis: With Newcastle Jets recently signing ex-Adelaide defender Taylor Regan, his partnership with Jorden Elsey will shore up their defence to be a little more resilient. However, with Adelaide getting their first away win last week against the Roar, and playing with confidence with three away goals, United will be looking to achieve their second win away from home.

Iain Fyfe: Adelaide have a fearlessness to them. They can take it to any team in the league. Newcastle look well-structured and balanced in formation. I feel they are more vulnerable defensively.

One to watch

John Kosmina: Juande will have a big job running the midfield and Hiroshi Ibusuki, starting or not could make a difference.

Lucas Pantelis: With Craig Goodwin away on international duty it leaves a massive hole in attack. A lot of the responsibility will fall on current Captain Stefan Mauk, who could be playing his last game as a Red, as well as young speedster in Bernardo to get the Reds over the line.

Iain Fyfe: I am enjoying Bernardo’s progress at the moment. Although I feel he can have an even greater impact on the outcome of games. His directness in 1v1 situations is exciting.

Key battle

John Kosmina: Yuel v Lopez
Penha v Lopez
Jakobsen v Mikeltadze

Lucas Pantelis: Michael Jakobsen coming back into the line-up and playing a full game last week made the back-four more stable. With the defence being solid, it will free up the midfielders to move forward and create chances for our attackers.

Iain Fyfe: Key battle for me is control of the midfield. Stifling Penha from creating is important. Whoever is playing on him has a key role to play defensively for the team.

One change you’d like to see

John Kosmina: HiroshiIbusuki to start.

Lucas Pantelis: I would like to see more of Lachlan Brook, the youngster has gained experience by being overseas. I believe with the experience gained and his speed, will definitely help Adelaide not only against the Jets, but for the rest of the season.

Iain Fyfe: Be more clinical in the final third. Easier said than done I know, but game outcomes are created in clinical moments within the game. More often than not, these moments are the responsibility of forwards and creative players.

Lachlan Brook
Head-to-head

Played: 48
Wins: 20
Draws: 14
Losses: 14

Last five meetings

1-4 win (A)
2-1 win (H)
0-3 loss (H)
2-1 win (H)
1-2 win (A)

Predictions

John Kosmina: Adelaide will find this a difficult game especially away from home and without Isaias and Craig Goodwin.
The Jets will struggle having not playing for a while but have some quality in the front half. A draw for the Reds will be a good result. Newcastle by a goal.

Lucas Pantelis: Even though Newcastle Jets have signed Taylor Regan and Craig Goodwin being away on international duty, I still see the mighty Reds prevailing for their second away win in a row to potentially send off their captain with a 2-0 win.

Iain Fyfe: A tough game against an opponent who hasn’t played since December 19
Due to this fact, I predict a 2-1 victory to Adelaide.

Match details:
Sunday, 30 January vs Newcastle Jets
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 12
Kick-off 6.15pm ACDT
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Stream: Paramount+