Hyundai A-League action extends to Monday night and what an intriguing clash in store as Victory look to stay in the Premiership race against a Jets outfit with aspirations of squeezing back into the top six.
Monday, 13 February 2017
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham
Fourth Official: Ben Abraham
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 1 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 1233 ABC Newcastle, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, 1116 SEN (Melbourne)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvMVC
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, 9.Aleksandr KOKKO, 10.Wayne BROWN, 12.Harrison SAWYER, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 18.MA Leilei, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 28.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 50.Tomislav ARCABA (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Steven UGARKOVIC (returns from suspension), 9.Aleksandr KOKKO (promoted)
Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles – season), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee – 1 week), 13.Ivan VUJICA (hamstring – 1 week), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season)
Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Marco ROJAS, 8.Besart BERISHA, 10.James TROISI, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Alan BARO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.James DONACHIE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 23.Jai INGHAM, 40.Matt ACTON (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 17.James DONACHIE (returns from suspension), 19.George HOWARD (promoted)
With heatwave conditions in NSW this weekend, this match has been switched to Monday night in line with the FFA Heat Policy.
Cooler weather will no doubt improve the quality of football though McDonald Jones Stadium hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Victory, with just three wins in the Hunter in 16 previous visits.
But Kevin Muscat’s troops head to the Hunter after steering their season back on track with their win in the derby last week.
So instead of looking over their shoulder to keep their spot in the top-two, the Big V has their sights on chasing down Sydney FC again.
So they head to Newcastle in a good space.
It’s a little bit different for the Jets, who dropped out of the top six after losing 3-2 in Perth last Saturday night.
Defensive errors hurt them badly against Glory so you can be sure coach Mark Jones has been working his troops hard this week to eradicate those lapses.
This clash marks the start of a season-defining period for the seventh-placed Jets.
After Victory they have clashes against Adelaide, the Mariners and Brisbane Roar to follow over the next few weeks. We’ll know a lot more about their chances of ending their seven-year finals drought after that.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Andrew Nabbout’s intelligence, ability to get in behind the defence and create goals for others will be vital for the home side.
The ex-Victory man has thrived since his move to Newcastle – via a stint in Malaysia – and he provides that bit of x-factor the Jets will need to win.
Around him the likes of Andrew Hoole and Morten Nordstrand have the quality to damage anyone, if the service is right.
The return of the impressive Steven Ugarkovic from suspension should help that, as will experienced Englishman Wayne Brown, who could also be ready for a start after overcoming his hip problem.
For Victory, the sensational Marco Rojas, top-scorer Besart Berisha and in-form James Troisi will be the main outlets for a side which has scored the most goals in the Hyundai A-League this season.
And Rojas will be the one the Jets will want to stop. The ‘Kiwi Messi’ just loves playing Newcastle, scoring six goals and assisting three more in his last four games against the Hunter club.
There’s been eight goals scored in the two matches between these two already this season (4-2 and 2-0 wins for Victory) and we’re expecting goals again at McDonald Jones Stadium.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Andrew Nabbout. His remarkable season continued this week when he was named in the www.a-league.com.au Team of the Month.
FORM LINES (last five games)
Newcastle Jets 2-2 Melbourne Victory