Match Preview: Wanderers v Jets

The Wanderers return to CommBank Stadium for their only home game in the month of February when they take on the Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon.

Get your tickets to the fixture here.

The side have gone down to 10-men in their last two games, managing to hold on in a gritty 1-0 win over Western United, before falling to a dramatic 4-3 defeat last Sunday against Macarthur FC.

In a match that saw six goals in a frenetic first half ending 3-3, the Wanderers then lost Tom Beadling to a red card in the 52nd minute, and despite defending doggedly for much of the half, Valere Germain scored a 93rd minute winner after the officials adjudged the ball had gone over the whole of the line from his header.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for a resilient Wanderers side who are battling injuries and suspensions, with Tom Beadling set to miss the next three games; with Alex Bonetig still under an injury cloud, it could mean Jorrit Hendrix – who returned against the Bulls after a month out -could line up in central defence alongside Marcelo on Sunday.

Positives from the weekend’s game included the return of Lawrence Thomas from international duty – he replaced Daniel Margush at half-time after the latter sustained a concussion – and the strong form of Lachie Brook, who scored twice to take his tally to three goals in the last two games.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 04: Lachlan Brook of the Wanderers celebrates scoring a goal with Marcus Antonsson of the Wanderers during the A-League Men round 15 match between Macarthur FC and Western Sydney Wanderers at Campbelltown Stadium, on February 04, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

But the defeat saw the Wanderers fall to fifth as Macarthur overtook them, though the Wanderers have played a game less and only sit three points behind Central Coast in second and two points behind the Melbourne Victory in third.

They will look to take advantage of a return to home soil against a Jets side who has only won one of their last six games and sit in 10th on the table.

They did earn an encouraging result last round against the Victory, as an 88th minute goal from Apostolos Stamatelopoulos saw the Jets pull off a 1-1 draw.

The striker is in supreme form this season, scoring 11 goals in 14 games, and he caused the Wanderers problems in the reverse fixture as he scored twice in 19 first half minutes to put the Jets 2-0 up at half-time.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 05: Jack Clisby of the Wanderers with the ball during the A-League Men round three match between Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers at McDonald Jones Stadium, on November 05, 2023, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

The Wanderers regrouped, and after the break levelled proceedings with goals from Marcus Antonsson and Josh Brillante, and the Red and Black ended the game the stronger of the two sides and were arguably unlucky not to snag a win.

The Jets have been competitive in many games, but a youthful side with rookie coach Robbie Stanton has at times shown their inexperience, especially in away defeats to the Victory and Sydney FC.

There will be a host of familiar faces potentially in the Jets side this weekend, as former Wanderers Mark Natta, Daniel Wilmering, Kosta Grozos, Thomas Aquilina and Mohamed Al-Taay have all featured regularly in the Hunter this season.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 05: Oscar Priestman of the Wanderers with the ball during the A-League Men round three match between Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers at McDonald Jones Stadium, on November 05, 2023, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

The Wanderers were comfortable victors the last time the Jets made the trip to Parramatta, earning a 2-0 win thanks to goals either side of half-time from Romain Amalfitano and Brandon Borrello; the latter has now returned to training as he edges closer to a return from a broken foot.

The Wanderers are also unbeaten in their last four matches against the Jets, with their last defeat coming almost two years ago; their last defeat at home came over five years ago in 2019.

A win for the Wanderers could see them move back into the top four and put further ground between them and the chasing pack below, with the Wanderers currently three points ahead of Melbourne City and four ahead of our crosstown rivals.