In Harvey Norman Friday Night Football, Cahill's men head to the NSW mid-north coast city of Coffs Harbour to face a Jets side aiming to reboot their top six hopes after last week's reversal.
Friday, 27 January 2017
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City FC
C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal
Fourth Official: Ben Abraham
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS VICELAND from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand 1233 ABC Newcastle, ABC Radio Melbourne, ABC Radio Vic, Grandstand Digital Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio), 1116 SEN (Melbourne)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvMCY
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Newcastle Jets Squad: 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (C), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 11.Labinot HALITI, 12.Harry SAWYER, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 18.MA Leilei, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (Gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 28.John KOUTROUMBIS, 29.Joel ALLWRIGHT, 50.Tomislav ARCABA (Gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Andrew HOOLE (returns from suspension), 19.Morten NORDSTRAND (returns from concussion), 29.Joel ALLWRIGHT (promoted)
Outs: 9.Aleksandr KOKKO (omitted)
Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (achilles - season), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee - 1-2 weeks), 10.Wayne BROWN (hip flexor - 1 week), 13.Ivan VUJICA (hamstring - 1-3 weeks), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee - season)
Melbourne City FC Squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Osama MALIK, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (c), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Manny MUSCAT (promoted), 18.Paulo RETRE (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season)
What an intriguing match-up we have on Harvey Norman Friday Night Football as two sides chasing some consistency face-off in the seaside escape of Coffs Harbour (about 500km north of Sydney).
When these two have got it right in the 2016/17 Season they have been wonderful to watch, but that hasn't been the case.
What will they dish up in this one?
The Jets will be desperate for maximum points, having dropped to eighth after last weekend’s 2-0 loss to the Wanderers.
But they are only one point behind Wellington in fifth and well-placed to break their seven-year Finals Series drought if they can get things right in coming weeks.
City appeared to have steadied the ship after a mini slump following their Westfield FFA Cup triumph in November.
Last week’s 2-1 win over the Mariners – thanks to Cahill’s superb brace – made it two wins from the last three under interim boss Michael Valkanis (confirmed this week as coach for the remainder of the season).
City will still believe they can chase down cross-town rivals Victory for a top-two spot, and with the season’s final Melbourne Derby to come the following week, a win in Coffs is a must
ROUTE TO GOAL
The Jets drew a blank last weekend for the first time in their last seven matches. But there were mitigating circumstances.
Winger Andrew Hoole was missing due to suspension while attacker Morten Nordstrand (concussion) and Englishman Wayne Brown (hip) were out through injury.
There’s no doubt the Jets’ attack has a lot more punch and variety with those guys on the pitch. Hoole and Nordstrand especially will give the City defence plenty of trouble.
Hoole’s pace and work-rate is especially vital to Newcastle’s style, while his delivery from wide areas has also improved as the season has gone on.
For City, Tim Cahill has been the key man recently, with his brace last week taking his season tally to seven goals.
His ability to find a yard of space in the box to get on the end of crosses makes him a huge weapon for City.
Livewire winger Bruce Kamau has been excellent of late also, with his six assists so far this season the most of any player yet to score a goal themselves.
Bruno Fornaroli scored both goals in City’s 2-1 win over the Jets earlier this season and he’ll want to get on the scoresheet again as he aims to catch Besart Berisha at the top of the golden boot standings.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
The Jets. They signed Dimi Petratos from Roar as well as his younger brother Kosta from Perth Glory.
FORM LINES (last five games)
PREDICTIONNewcastle Jets 2-3 Melbourne City