Newcastle football fans will be treated to a top-of-the-table clash on home turf this weekend, as Melbourne City travel to the Hunter to clash with the high-flying Jets on Saturday.
Currently in second position, the Jets will be looking to continue the form that saw them demolish Melbourne Victory 4 – 1 last Thursday night.
Despite the 10-day turnaround, the home side has a raft of injuries on its hands with Vargas, O’Donovan, Georgievski, Brown, Duncan and now Cowburn currently unavailable for selection.
Cowburn has injured his knee following a collision at training on Wednesday, with details of its severity not yet known. Jason Hoffman also remains under an injury cloud with an injured groin, but remains a chance to take the pitch against City.
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said his side would continue to play the attacking brand of football that has seen them net 20 goals this season.
“You can dwell on the negative side of injuries, or you can look at it as a positive with some of the younger boys getting to gain some quality first team experience,” said Merrick.
“They all know the game plan and the group as a whole have been training exceptionally well over the last few weeks.
“All clubs have to go through this at some stage during the season, we’ve probably got more than our fair share right now but we won’t be changing the way we play because we’ve got a few players out.
“We’ve played a couple of really tough teams over the last month and I think last week (against Victory) we showed what we can do when we play for the full 90 minutes – it’s about doing that consistently now.
“City are a team that’s wounded, and will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss – they’ll be out to do really well.
“They’ve got plenty of quality players in that team, but ultimately it’s about how we play.”
By the numbers:
- There has been just one draw in the last 14 games between these teams, with the clubs alternating victories across their last seven meetings; City winning last time out.
- The Jets have won their last two home games against Melbourne City by a score of 2-1 on each occasion.
- Dimi Petratos has scored four goals this season, nearly three more than his Expected Goals (1.3) for the campaign; it’s the largest overperformance of any player in the competition.
- The Jets have scored in 8 consecutive matches, the second longest streak in the club's history.
- The Jets have the chance to win 3 home matches in a row for the first time since October 2011.
Saturday, 2 December 2017
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City FC
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-off: 7:50 PM (Local) (7:50 PM AEDT)
Referee: Shaun Evans
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7:45pm (AEDT) and ONE from 7:45pm
Radio Broadcast: ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvMCY
Newcastle Jets: 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 12.Mario SHABOW, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nick COWBURN, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Glenn MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 30.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Ins: 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (promoted), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (promoted)
Outs: 10.Wayne BROWN (calf – TBC), 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (knee – 2 weeks)
Unavailable: 1.Jack DUNCAN (foot – 6 weeks), 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (groin – 2 weeks)
Melbourne City FC: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 7.Nick FITZGERALD, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Braedyn CROWLEY, 13.Stefan MAUK, 14.Daniel ARZANI, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Marcin BUDZINSKI, 44.Ross McCORMACK
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 12.Braedyn CROWLEY (promoted), 14.Daniel ARZANI (promoted), 21.Ruon TONGYIK (promoted)
Outs: 6.Osama MALIK (suspended - 1 week)
Unavailable: 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (ankle), 9.Marcelo CARRUSCA (calf)