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Australia A-League - Match Prediction: Western United FC VS Newcastle Jets
Match Time：4/26/2021 17:05 Monday (GMT+8)
Australia A-League -- Western United FC VS Newcastle Jets
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Western United take on Newcastle Jets in the Australian A-League on Monday, with the visitors looking to gain a positive result and move off the foot of the table.
The hosts, meanwhile, can move into the top six, which would be enough to progress to the finals series at the end of the campaign.
Indeed, having reached the semi-final of the finals series last season, Mark Rudan's side are aiming to go one better this campaign by winning the A-League in what is only their second ever season in the division.
Having only been formed three years ago, Western Utd remain a work in progress, with their planned 15,000 seated stadium in Tarneit, Victoria, not expected to be completed until mid-2023.
Rudan was relieved to see his side avoid defeat against Wellington Phoenix last time out, having had Brendan Hamill sent off prior to the half-time interval.
Defeat would have seen Western Utd slip to ninth in the table, but Lachlan Wales's equaliser prior to Hamill's dismissal proved enough to earn a share of the spoils.
Western Utd do have games in hand on most sides in the division, though, having played three fewer matches, for example, than Western Sydney Wanderers, who currently sit one place and point above them in the table.
A win on Monday would put Rudan's outfit in an excellent position to kick on and cement a top-six position.
Newcastle Jets, meanwhile, have endured a nightmare season so far, taking only 13 points from their opening 18 games to sit rock-bottom in the table.
The New South Wales-based club, who have seen the likes of Emile Heskey and Michael Bridges play for them in the past, have only finished in the top six of the A-League once in the past decade, having previously reached at least the last four of the finals series on four occasions in their first decade in existence.
Last weekend's 2-2 draw at Macarthur FC extended Craig Deans' side's winless run to a dismal nine matches, with Steven Ugarkovic's second-half strike salvaging a point at least.
A third successive draw against Western Utd on Monday would be enough to temporarily move Newcastle Jets off the bottom, but wins are urgently required if their season is not to fizzle out.
Western United Australian A-League form: LWWLWD
Newcastle Jets Australian A-League form: LLLLDD
Western Utd will be without Hamill after his dismissal against Wellington Phoenix, with Tomislav Uskok potentially dropping back into the defence, allowing Rudan to bring Besart Berisha back into the starting XI.
Berisha is the jewel in the club's crown having scored 25 goals in all competitions for the club, with former West Ham United forward Alessandro Diamanti lining up alongside him in attack.
Newcastle Jets, meanwhile, have several injury doubts, with Nigel Boogaard, John Koutroumbis and Tete Yengi all out of action for at least a few weeks.
Jason Hoffman and Ben Kantarovski will be hoping to return imminently after recently suffering muscle injuries, but the trip to York Park on Monday may come a little too soon for them.
Western United possible starting lineup:
Scott; Imai, Durante, Uskok; Risdon, Pierias, Sanchez, Pain; Diamanti, Wales; Berisha
Newcastle Jets possible starting lineup:
Italiano; Millar, Jackson, Topor-Stanley, O'Toole; Stamatelopolous, Prso, Thurgate, Najjarine, Yuel; O'Donovan
Western United vs Newcastle Jets
Western United 2-1 Newcastle Jets
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