Can a free-scoring City continue their red-hot form or will the spluttering Jets bring them crashing back down? A fascinating clash of styles awaits on Sunday afternoon in Newcastle.
Sunday, 13 December 2015
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City FC
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2: Leigh Pigram
Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 1233 ABC Newcastle, 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local Radio Vic, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvMCY
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Cameron WATSON, 7.Enver ALIVODIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 10.LEONARDO, 13.Lee KI-JE, 14.Mitch COOPER, 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.David CARNEY, 24.Nicholas COWBURN, 27.Braedyn CROWLEY, 28.Ryan KITTO
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (returns from ankle injury), 10.LEONARDO (returns from knee soreness)
Unavailable: 2.Daniel MULLEN (knee - indefinite), 11.Labinot HALITI (knee - season)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 8.Aaron MOOY, 9.Harry NOVILLO, 10.Robi KOREN, 15.David WILLIAMS, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (c), 25.Jacob MELLING, 30.Hernan ESPINDOLA, 36.Matt MILLER
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Robi KOREN (returns from injury), 36.Matt MILLER (promoted)
Unavailable: 3.Aaron HUGHES (calf - 1 week), 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee - season), 11.Michael ZULLO (calf - 2 weeks), 14.James BROWN (2-3 weeks), 26.Marc MARINO (knee - 4-5 weeks)
These two sides played out a five-goal thriller six weeks ago with the Jets emerging 3-2 winners after staging a remarkable second half comeback at AAMI Park.
But John van’t Schip’s men have since then turned a corner, winning three and drawing one of their past five to jump to fifth spot on the ladder.
City appear to have rediscovered their attacking mojo over the past fortnight with the Cityzens thrashing Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners 5-1 in consecutive weeks.
Conversely, the Jets have failed to register a win in their past five and have slipped outside the top six after a very promising start to the season.
Rookie boss Scott Miller has turned the Novocastrians into a stingy defensive unit (they’ve conceded 9 goals in 9 games) but a lack of quality in the final third has begun to show.
Skipper Nigel Boogaard’s likely return from injury is a big boost for the hosts but Brazilian playmaker Leonardo is again in doubt with an ongoing knee issue though he's been named in the squad.
- Not only have Melbourne City made the most shots at goal (110), but they’ve also got the best shooting accuracy (50.9%) of any team so far this season.
- Newcastle Jets have faced 137 shots at goal this season, the second most of any team and only one fewer than Central Coast (138).
- Harry Novillo has an average of 4.2 shots at goal per game, the most of any player by more than a shot (3 – Jamie Maclaren).
- Milos Trifunovic has scored two headed goals this season, one of only two players to do so (Erik Paartalu).
ROUTE TO GOAL
City midfielder Aaron Mooy is arguably Australia’s best player right now. The 25-year-old has been in scintillating touch to start the season notching four goals and six assists to spark a frustratingly inconsistent City outfit.
Fit again winger Harry Novillo has provided John van’t Schip’s with a new dimension in the front third and four goals in three games suggests the flying Frenchman is edging closer to his best.
Uruguayan striker Bruno Fornaroli is proving to be one of the competition’s premier marksmen after notching seven goals in nine games.
The 28-year-old’s clever runs in behind and ability to hold the ball up in transition will provide Nigel Boogaard and co plenty of problems.
The Jets have really struggled in front of goal in 2015/16, netting just nine goals in nine games and have failed to score more than once in seven of their last eight A-League matches (W2 D3 L3).
Newcastle have lacked creativity in the absence of Leonardo with youngsters Ryan Kitto and Braedyn Crowley thrust into the Jets’ starting lineup in recent weeks.
David Carney remains the hosts’ most productive outlet down the left flank while pacey Serbian winger Enver Alivodic has looked threatening in patches.
Milos Trifunovic has struggled with injury and form in recent times after a bright start to the season, but the Serbian centre forward did net a match-winning brace last time these two sides met.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
David Carney. The 48-cap Socceroo has been in superb form this season and an unnamed Qatari club is reportedly keen on his services. But Newcastle has denied any approach has been made for the 32 year-old.
Newcastle Jets: LDDDL
Melbourne City: WLDWW
Newcastle Jets 1 Melbourne City 3