It’s the weekend every Jets fan has been waiting for: Round 3 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19.
Newcastle will play their first home match of the season, and who better to welcome to the Hunter than Melbourne Victory?
There have been a total of 40 matches between these two teams, and it’s the Jets who hold the upper hand over the years.
Newcastle has won 16 matches compared to Victory’s 15, with 9 draws. That record improves dramatically at home – the Jets have won 10 and drawn 6 of 20 matches played at McDonald Jones Stadium.
It’s in Newcastle that the Jets enjoyed their biggest ever win over Melbourne – a 4-0 victory back in the 2006/07 season, with a double to Mark Bridge supported by goals from Joel Griffiths and Vaughan Coveny.
Interestingly, the Jets have only ever lost to Victory on a Saturday in Newcastle once – the 2018 Grand Final.
Before that, there’d been six Saturday games without a Jets defeat in the Hunter between these two teams.
Despite having the edge over Victory in terms of wins, Melbourne edge the Jets slightly in goals – 55 compared to our 54.
In keeping with a positive win record on home soil, the Jets have scored 33 goals to Victory’s 21 in Newcastle.
Joel Griffiths is the leading scorer in Jets colours in this fixture, with five goals to his name. Archie Thompson leads the way for Victory with seven.
The record between these two teams last season is split right down the middle – two wins each. Of course, one of those Victory wins was a heartbreaker for Newcastle fans back in May this year.
It’s a big game for Jason Hoffman too, who will make his 107th appearance in Jets colours and moves into 6th overall in Jets A-League appearances.
Last weekend, Ronnie Vargas’ goal made him the 80th Newcastle Jets player to score in the Hyundai A-League. Will he add to his tally on Saturday night?
Ticket sales are tracking well for Saturday night. and Jets Members having ticked over 10,000 on Wednesday. Add to that the attendance last time we played Victory – nearly 30,000 – and a primetime Saturday night slot, expect a big crowd to get behind the Jets and help earn a first win of the season.