Preview: Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United

This match looms as a classic six-pointer where a win will not only greatly enhance the chances of a finals berth, but also dent one of their direct rivals’ ambitions.

Few would have predicted this match being pivotal in the race for semi-finals, but that is exactly how it has played out.

Both sides have enjoyed unexpectedly impressive campaigns and that just adds to the intrigue of this contest.

If form is any gauge then Newcastle are warm favourites. They lost to runaway leaders Melbourne City last weekend, but they became the first team to concede just a single goal against the league’s form team.

The Jets are also undefeated against the Lady Reds in their past four outings, including a 1-1 draw in Adelaide last month.

Adelaide, for their part, have failed to collect three points across five matches dating all the way to round four. Defeat here would leave them at least three points from the semi-finals with just three rounds remaining.

While Adelaide are aiming for the first-ever finals tickets, the Jets are seeking to end a seven-year drought from the play-offs having failed to achieve those lofty heights since season one.

This could be the match that sets the Jets towards ending that run.

Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United
Saturday 19 December 2015
Magic Park, Broadmeadow
Local kick-off: 3pm

Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #NEWvADL

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Hannah Southwell (gk), 2. Sophie Nenadovic, 3. Georgia Yeoman-Dale, 4. Megan Oyster, 5. Caprice Dydasco, 6. Cassidy Davis, 7. Gema Simon (c), 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Rhali Dobson, 13. Adriana Jones, 15. Elizabeth Copus-Brown, 16. Siahn Bozanic, 17. Jenna Kingsley, 18. Clare Wheeler, 19. Hannah Bromley 20. Claire Coelho (gk)

Ins: Sophie Nenadovic (promoted), Rhali Dobson (returns from ankle injury), Elizabeth Copus-Brown (promoted)

Outs: Chloe Logarzo (concussion – 1 week), Kobie Ferguson (omitted)

Unavailable: none

Adelaide United squad: 1. Kaitlyn Savage (gk), 2. Lauren Steer, 3. Alexandra Gummer, 4. Sarah Killion, 5. Allira Toby, 6. Chantelle Ryder, 8. Emily Condon, 10. Georgia Campagnale, 11. Rosie Sutton, 12. Elizabeth Milne (c), 13. Abbigail Dahlkemper, 15. Matilda McNamara, 17. Tiarn Powell, 18. Lorena Maggio, 19. Gabby Bentley, 20. Claudia Jenkins (gk)

Ins: Matilda McNamara (promoted)

Outs: none

Unavailable: Grace Abbey (knee – 1 week), Marijana Rajcic (knee – season)