Western United has two huge games remaining to end it’s 2021/22 Isuzu UTE A-League Men regular season, the first of which is a trip to face Newcastle Jets on Wednesday night.
Newcastle Jets vs Western United
Wednesday, 4 May
Kick-off: 7:05pm AEST
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+
Newcastle Jets: WLLLW
Western United: DLWWL
Newcastle have largely battled inconsistency throughout the season, exhibiting some outstanding attacking football at their best but proving leaky at the back during their most difficult periods, proven by them having the third best attack and the fourth worst defence in the league.
Arthur Papas’ side have had two big wins over the last month against Perth Glory and Macarthur FC, but in between those victories came three straight defeats which ultimately ruled the Hunter-based club out of finals contention.
Western United confirmed its place in the top three over the same period of time and remains locked in a three-way battle for the Premier’s Plate and the top two spots in the league.
The Green and Black went down to Central Coast Mariners in its last match but had previously lost just once in six matches, and John Aloisi will be eager for a big performance from his players to set up a grandstand final weekend of the regular season.
Western United is riding an excellent run of form against Newcastle of late, winning each of the last four meetings in all competitions.
Three of those meetings have been in the A-League Men, while the other was an FFA Cup Play Off that kicked off United’s season way back in November.
That run of form has overturned some initial difficulty which saw United fail to score across the first three matches against the Jets, and will give the side confidence of securing an important result.
Aloisi is likely to be without midfielder Steven Lustica after he went down with a knock to his calf in the early stages of the defeat to Central Coast.
The midfielder has started all 24 of United’s games up to this point and a number of players will have the chance to step into the side and make an impact.
Lachie Wales is set to play his 50th match for Western United if he is selected, while Connor Pain will reach 200 games in the A-League Men.
What John Aloisi is saying
On the positivity of being together through this important period of the season
“It is handy that we’re all together, especially after a result that we didn’t want it was good to have the group together and pick each other up pretty quickly. That can only happen when you’re in that sort of hub environment.
“The boys love each other’s company, they’ve been in good spirits the last couple of days, so that can only help when they have to go and play.”
On preparing to face Newcastle without Daniel Penha
“He’s a top player and he’s been one of their best players this season, but you can still see the ones that come in make the same runs and the same movement. We’ve still prepared very similarly to how we would’ve prepared if Penha was starting.”
“Every game provides a challenge, and that’s why we try to prepare for every game making sure we know their strengths and also their weaknesses. This is no different, they’ve got a lot of good qualities going forward, they move the ball quickly, they’re very dynamic, they can catch you also in transition.”