WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS V NEWCASTLE Sunday afternoon, Spotless Stadium
Expect the unexpected in this match as this will be the first match played at Spotless Stadium.
The Wanderers’ new home ground, along with ANZ Stadium, for the better part of two years with the redevelopment of Pirtek underway, it will be interesting to see how both sides cope with the new surroundings.
Western Sydney will be on a high after traveling to Adelaide and exacting some sort of revenge for their Grand Final loss last season thanks to a Brendon Santalab brace.
Newcastle has been one of the surprise packets of the opening fortnight with their comprehensive 4-0 thumping of the Brisbane Roar definitely turning more than a few heads.
BREAKING THE HOODOO
Tony Popovic’s side went to Adelaide and broke somewhat of a hoodoo that may well kick start their season.
In their entire history the Wanderers hadn’t been able to win in their opening two games but now with that out of the way, can they build some momentum? History suggests so as they have won three straight over the Jets.
Newcastle has five goals in two games to start the season under new coach Mark Jones. This is already a marked improvement on what they did in 2015/16 as they barely averaged a goal a game.
One of the big reasons for their early success has been new boy Andrew Nabbout, the former Victory player slotting in perfectly to the Jets outfit and playing a key role in last week’s upset win over Brisbane.
HOW IT PANS OUT
Western Sydney has been able to solve the Jets in recent clashes by shutting down their attack. Their two previous clashes has seen Newcastle kept scoreless.
This is a different side to that one though and when you consider that the Wanderers’ defence is their achillies heel at the moment, expect to see plenty of chances fall Newcastle’s way.
The big issue will be how they handle playing away from home as their opening two games were in front of their own fans.
The RBB is set to be in full voice and at the boutique stadium like Spotless, the atmosphere will definitely be a big advantage for the home side.
TO SCORE A GOAL – Brendon Santalab. The super-sub has six goals in his last seven games with no other player scoring more than that off the bench since the start of last season.