Match preview: Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets

Melbourne Victory will be hoping Geelong proves to be a happy home for them when they host Newcastle Jets at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.

In a replay of last season’s Grand Final, Victory will be wary of a Newcastle team that is desperate for maximum points as they chase a Finals Series berth of their own.

With a five-point gap between themselves and the top six, the Hunter club needs to pick up regular wins – and fast.

They missed the chance to close the gap even further by being held to a disappointing 0-0 draw against Adelaide United on Sunday.

That was Newcastle’s fourth game in 12 days so you can understand why they may have been fatigued, and a full week to prepare for this clash should ensure a more energetic display.

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And they’ll need to if they are to overcome a Victory side who would have taken plenty of confidence from their gritty 1-1 draw with Melbourne City on Saturday night.

Kevin Muscat’s men were forced to play more than 75 minutes with just 10 men after the early dismissal of Georg Niedermeier but were still worthy of taking a point from the match.

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Expect there to be goals in this one, with the last four games at the venue saying 17 goals scored, with no side yet to keep a clean sheet.

While the Jets won their previous away clash in the Hyundai A-League 5-1 against the Wanderers, it's  been almost 12 months since the last time they won a match outside New South Wales.

Victory have won both previous clashes between the two sides this season also, including a 2-1 triumph in Melbourne back in Round 13.

James Troisi – who scored the winner on that occasion – will play his 100th Hyundai A-League game in this one.

Key Opta stats

  • Melbourne Victory have won their last three Hyundai A-League games on the bounce against Newcastle Jets, the longest winning streak of either team in the history of this fixture.
  • Newcastle Jets have scored 26 goals in the second half this season; four more than any other side in the Hyundai A-League.
  • Jets striker Roy O’Donovan has scored three goals in his last four Hyundai A-League games, including a brace in his last away game. However, Victory are the only club against whom O’Donovan is yet to score.

Ins and outs

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matthew ACTON (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Keisuke HONDA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (Capt), 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 14.Thomas DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 16.Josh HOPE, 17.James DONACHIE, 19.Rahmat AKBARI, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 24.Elvis KAMSOBA, 25.Anthony LESIOTIS. **two to be omitted**

Ins: 16.Josh HOPE (promoted), 19, Rahmat AKBARI (promoted), 25.Anthony LESIOTIS (promoted)
Outs: 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER (suspended)
Unavailable: 21.Carl VALERI (hamstring)

Newcastle Jets FC Squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matt RIDENTON, 24.Joey CHAMPNESS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY. **two to be omitted**

Ins: 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (return from injury), 32.Angus THURGATE (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (ankle – TBC), 10.Ronald VARGAS (hamstring – 3 weeks)

Toivonen
Ola Toivonen could be ready for a return to the starting side on Saturday night.

How to watch

See if the Jets can keep their finals hopes alive when they take on Victory in Geelong LIVE and FREE on 10 Bold or tenplay, and on FOX SPORTS 505, with kick off at 7:50pm (AEDT). You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live AppLive Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers or you can also subscribe to Kayo Sports.

Tickets

HEAD HERE for tickets to see Victory's home clash in Geelong against finals-chasing Newcastle on Saturday night.

Tipping

Round 21: Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets

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