Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory - Preview
V is for Vengeance! After a Glorious result last week, the Jets are gunning for back-to-back home wins. But Melbourne Victory will have other ideas…
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory Saturday 25th September 7:30pm EnergyAustralia Stadium
What a result last Friday at EnergyAustralia Stadium! It was a triumph for passion, self-belief and unity in the face of adversity, as troubled Jets outwitted pacesetting Perth Glory and came away with an exceptional 2-0 victory in front of close to 7000 noisy fans. Such a fine performance is sure to have inspired the Newcastle public sufficiently for there to be an even bigger turnout of locals for the arrival of Melbourne Victory.
Victory find themselves in fourth position in the ladder, just a win away from second place, yet the league standings only really tell half the story. Last season-s Grand Finalists have played more games than any other side so far in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season and have only mustered two wins from their eight matches. However, having also only lost two games, Ernie Merrick-s side are fast becoming known as this season-s draw specialists, with four stalemates so far, including two goalless draws in the last two games.
While the wins aren-t as forthcoming as Merrick would like, he will be pleased that his defence, even in the absence of star centre-back and captain Kevin Muscat, has stopped haemorrhaging goals. Having shipped an inexcusable seven in the first three weeks of the season, the backline has kept three clean sheets in a row, and four in the last five games. Having only scored four times all season, Jets will surely have their work cut out if they are to add to that total on Saturday night.
One player especially keen to make a goal-scoring contribution will be Labinot Haliti. The Jets striker found the target in all three meetings between the sides in the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season, meaning that over half his tally for the campaign was scored against this weekend-s opponents.
With a record like that, he-ll be itching to make another telling contribution on Saturday night, just as he did after coming off the bench against Perth Glory last week. Italian import Marcello Fiorentini may make his home debut for Jets.
If the last meeting between Jets and Victory is anything to go by, it will be raining goals at EnergyAustralia Stadium this week. In January, the two sides played out a five-goal thriller with Newcastle holding off the visitors to win by the odd goal. Victory will be going all out to prevent a similar defeat this weekend.
Newcastle fans, it-s time to show the same magnificent support you displayed against Perth. With passion like that, it could be another winning weekend for the Jets.