Emile Heskey has missed the past three Jets matches. Source: Getty Images/news.com.au
The Newcastle Jets season is on the line when they take on the Western Sydney Wanderers at Hunter Stadium on Friday night. Having collected just one point from its past three fixtures, Newcastle must beat the Wanderers and hope that other results go their way to finish in the top six and make the finals.
Coach Gary van Egmond has almost a full strength squad to choose from for the must win match, including marquee man Emile Heskey , who returns after a month on the sidelines with a calf injury. Ruben Zadkovich, Adam Taggart and Zenon Caravella have all overcome niggles and are likely to be included in the starting XI.
Western Sydney can wrap up the Premier’s Plate by avoiding defeat against Newcastle but could be without several key men for the final match of the regular season. Japanese star Shinji Ono and influential midfielder Aaron Mooy are both doubtful with groin and knee injuries respectively, while Iacopo La Rocca won’t play any further part this season after copping a four match ban for elbowing Terry Antonis in the closing stages of last week’s drawn Sydney derby. Central defender Michael Beauchamp returns after missing the 1-1 draw with Sydney FC, while Youssouf Hersi is also in the squad having served his suspension.
With just two wins from their past ten matches, this is a must win match for the Jets and they are sure to go looking for goals with former England striker Emile Heskey reunited with Michael Bridges up front. Collecting the three points won’t be as easy as it sounds however, given that the Wanderers are unbeaten in 11 matches and only had their 10 game winning run broken by the sky blues last week. Western Sydney were 2-1 victors when the clubs met at Parramatta Stadium last month but Newcastle scored a come-from-behind 2-1 win at the ground last November.
Click here to bet on A-League matches