Match Preview- Brisbane Roar vs. Newcastle Jets




Friday, February 22

Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar

Venue: Hunter Stadium

Kick off: 7:30 PM

Referee: Lucien Laverdure

Assistant referee 1: Rodney Allen

Assistant referee 2: Ryan Gallagher

Fourth official: Stephen Lucas



Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 3. Zenon Caravella, 5. Dominik Ritter, 7. James Brown, 8. Ruben Zadkovich (c), 9. Emile Heskey, 12. Josh Brillante, 13. Sam Gallaway, 14. Taylor Regan, 15. Craig Goodwin, 17. James Virgili, 19. Michael Bridges, 20. Mark Birighitti (gk), 22. Adam Taggart, 23. Ryan Griffiths, 25. Mitch Cooper, 26. Andrew Hoole (Two to be omitted)



Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theo (gk), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Stef Nijland, 10. Henrique, 11. Ben Halloran, 12. Julius Doe, 13. Jade North, 14. Steven Lustica, 15. James Donachie, 16. Do Dong-Hyun, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Matt Acton (gk), 21. James Meyer, 22. Thomas Broich (c), 25. George Lambadaridis, 26. Corey Brown (Seven to be omitted)



Expected starting line-ups:
: Theo, Franjic, North, Donachie, Stefanutto, Lustica, Murdocca, Brattan, Nichols, Broich, Berisha.
Subs: Acton, Hingert, Henrique, Nijland.



Newcastle: Birighitti, Brillante, Regan, Gallaway, Ritter, Zadkovich, Caravella, Taggart, Bridges, Griffiths, Heskey
Subs: Kennedy, Goodwin, Virgili, Cooper



Recent form:
Newcastle: WLDDD



Season matchups:
Round 9: Brisbane Roar (Berisha 39’) 1-0 Newcastle Jets
Round 16: Newcastle Jets (Griffiths 48’) 1-0 Brisbane Roar



Head-to-head all time:
Played: 24 – Wins: Jets 9, Roar 9, Drawn: 6



Top Scorers:
Brisbane Roar:
Besart Berisha (12)
Newcastle Jets: Emile Heskey, Ryan Griffiths (9)



Brisbane had a very tough week last week, with long haul flights across the continent and the disappointment of no Asian football this term, but they bounced back on Sunday. Buoyed by the conformation that Mike Mulvey will be sticking around long term, they went out their and did the job amongst difficult conditions- both physically and mentally. And in truth, the pitch did them no favours, but it hasn’t all season. It wasn’t pretty, and against a better side than Wellington they may not have taken maximum points but what’s done is done, it’s time to put on a quality showing with the finals race heating up.



While the team list above may say 7 to be omitted, in reality it’s only the three- with Ivan Franjic, Mitch Nichols and Henrique likely to make their way back into the squad tonight. That means Jurman, Doe, Dong-Hyun and Meyer will all be missing once again, along with an additional three- but whom? Well, to be honest it’s relatively straight forward imo, or atleast two of them are: Franjic comes in at right back, dropping Hingert back to the bench and Corey Brown back into the NYL squad for the final round of that competition. The other change which is virtually guaranteed imo is Nichols returning for Kwame Yeboah, with Nichols’ experience and all round ability being a valuable part of the finals run in. I suspect Henrique will be on the bench tonight- it’s just a matter of who’s spot he takes- it could be Halloran who hasn’t been at his best lately, or it could even be foundation player Mass Murdocca or last weeks goal scorer Steve Lustica. It all depends on how aggressive Mulvey wants to be on the bench. It could go either way, but I’ll guess that it’s Halloran who misses out.



Renowned as the A-League’s tinkerman, Gary van Egmond was obviously impressed by his side last week, because he’s stated earlier in the week that they would have the same starting line-up as last week. That means that the attacking line-up of Bridges, Heskey, Taggart and Griffiths will all start once again which could cause problems for Brisbane. It will however take its toll in a defensive sense as none of them are overly good at tracking back. The midfield has drastically improved since Zenon Carvavella’s arrival and watch out for young Mitch Cooper, the youngster who was at the centre of Gold Coasts’ problems last season is likely to start on the bench, but he had a massive impact last Friday against the Heart.



This is obviously a massive match, a win and Brisbane are into the top 6 with their destiny in their own hands, a loss leaves them 5 points behind a finals spot with Sydney still to play so it is almost a must not lose game for Brisbane. It’s also vitally important to start gaining both form and confidence if Brisbane are going to make a run in the finals and not just limp in and lose 1st week up.


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