Preview: Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets

Adelaide United and the Newcastle Jets will meet in Round 5 of the 2013-14 A-League season at Coopers Stadium on Saturday, November 9 at 5.30pm AEDT.

Adelaide United and the Newcastle Jets will meet in Round 5 of the 2013-14 A-League season at Coopers Stadium on Saturday, November 9 at 5.30pm AEDT.

Head-to-head: Played 25: Wins: Adelaide 10, Newcastle 7, Draws 8

Previous encounter: Adelaide 1-1 Newcastle, March 15, 2013

Form: Past five matches (including pre-season): Adelaide: LLDWW Jets: DDDLL

The Game: Adelaide coach Josep Gombau says he's happy with the way his side is progressing under his new style and - for now - performance is more important than results. While it's admirable what the Spaniard is trying to implement at the Reds, how many more weeks do you wait before demanding a win. The Reds have now gone three games without a victory, losing their last two against Central Coast and the Wanderers respectively. A match against the mis-firing Jets might be a chance to continue that progression and get back in the winners' circle. Playmakers Jeronimo Neumann and Marcelo Carrusca will be better after their return from injury last weekend while striker Bruce Djite came back through the NYL last Sunday and is edging closer to first-team action.

The Jets finally broke their lengthy goal drought last weekend when defender Scott Neville scored - and then were handed a second by a calamitous mistake by Mariners goalkeeper Justin Pasfield. But Gary van Egmond's side couldn't hold on, eventually coming away with a 2-2 to leave them still searching for their first win of the season. Encouragingly they have shown signs of improvement with every game and that breakthrough win is probably just around the corner. With a bit of luck the Jets could have marquee striker Emile Heskey available for the first time this season as he continues to improve from the knee injury suffered in the pre-season.

The big issue: Adelaide - Running out games. Gombau denies the Reds have a fitness problem but twice in the last three matches they led and looked on course for wins only to be run down late in the second half. Given how even the A-League is this season, it's more important to be able to finish matches as strong as you start them, something the Reds haven't been able to do the last few weeks and it's cost them some valuable points.

Newcastle - Restoring confidence. There's an old adage in sport that winning can become a habit once a team gets on a good run of form. Well unfortunately for the Jets so can 'not' winning. Without a victory heading into round 5, van Egmond will need to do his best to instil some confidence and belief into his desperate squad, which is stacked with youngsters who may need that little pick up to ensure they can start turning these draws into wins.

The game breaker: Marcelo Carrusca - The Argentine's start to the season has been disrupted by injury but he made an impressive return against the Wanderers last weekend and is sure to be better for the run out. Carrusca is a vital part of the Reds' system under Gombau, linking the play between defence and striker Jeronimo, and he also has the ability to find the back of the net himself as he did last week.