The Newcastle Jets will travel to Melbourne for their final game for 2017, as they take on the Victory at AAMI Park this Friday night.
The Jets fly into this one off the back of a 4 – 0 demolition of the Western Sydney Wanderers, and are full of confidence as they sit 7 points clear in second position on the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Last time the two sides met, it was another standout performance from Ernie Merrick’s men as they ran out 4 – 1 victors at McDonald Jones Stadium.
While happy with his side’s current form, Merrick was expecting a different side to the one the Jets faced in Round 8.
“It’s a tough couple of weeks we’ve got ahead of us,” said Merrick.
“Victory will be wanting to climb the ladder, and after a couple of recent wins I think they’ll be very keen to put in a big performance.”
Merrick said the fixture away from home against a tough opponent was just the challenge he wanted his side to face.
“If we want to be a successful, finals team we need to play teams away from home when they’re at their best,” added Merrick.
“I think the boys have actually proven to themselves what they’re capable of last time we played Victory and even on Friday (against the Wanderers) – especially the younger players.
“The trick now is consistency, playing like that for a full match and then backing it up week after week.
“We’re pressing hard without the ball, we’re playing forward into space and attacking quickly with numbers – the boys have adapted to our style of play really well and it’s paying dividends.”
Nick Cowburn is in the frame for selection after a strong week on the training pitch while Daniel Georgievski is an outside chance to return as he recovers from a knee injury sustained against the Victory in Round 8.
By the numbers:
- Newcastle picked up a 4-1 win in the last meeting between these teams, their biggest win against the Victory in over a decade.
- The Jets have scored 29 goals this season, more than any other team after 12 rounds and their most in a single season since scoring 34 goals in 27 games in 2013/14.
- Newcastle have won four of their last five games away from home.
- Andrew Nabbout (6 goals, 5 assists) and Dimitri Petratos (5 goals, 5 assists) are the only players this season to have both scored and assisted five goals.
Friday 29 December 2017
Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 7:50pm (AEDT)
Referee: Chris Beath
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (Talking Lifestyle & Sport FM Perth). ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MVCvNEW
Newcastle Jets: 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 10.Wayne BROWN, 12.Mario SHABOW, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Glenn MOSS, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 30.Ivan NECEVSKI, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
*two to be omitted*
Ins: 16.Nick COWBURN (return from injury), 17. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (return from injury)
Outs: 23.Devante CLUT (omitted)
Unavailable: 1.Jack DUNCAN (foot – 2 weeks), 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (groin – 10 weeks)
Melbourne Victory: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Rhys WILLIAMS, 5.Mark MILLIGAN, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 14.Thomas DENG, 16.Josh HOPE, 18.Matias SANCHEZ, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 31.Christian THEOHAROUS, 41.Leroy GEORGE
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Leigh BROXHAM (promoted), 7.Kenny ATHIU (promoted)
Unavailable: 11.Mitch AUSTIN (knee), 17.James DONACHIE (quad)