Stats preview: Free-scoring Sky Blues out to continue Jets’ Sydney misery

Newcastle Jets would love to end their stuttering Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season on a high but the sight of Sydney FC in Round 27 will not fill them with any great confidence.

The Sky Blues have a major stranglehold over the Hunter club and Steve Corica's team possess an imposing scoring record on their travels as they head up the M1 on Saturday.

WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
BATTLE FOR FOURTHWill it be Adelaide or Wellington?

Perth Glory will need to find a way to stop the hottest striker in 2019 on Sunday night, while goals could be at a premium between Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park.

Get across all of that and more in our statistical look at the action ahead this weekend.

Can the Jets end their Sydney hoodoo?

Newcastle’s 2018/19 Season will officially come to an end on Saturday night when they host Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The home side should be buoyant after their 6-1 drubbing of Brisbane Roar last weekend but clashes against the Sky Blues have been far from encouraging in recent years.

The Jets have managed only one win over Sydney FC in their last 18 meetings in the Hyundai A-League, failing to keep a clean sheet in 13 straight encounters.

The record in the Hunter is only marginally better, having registered two victories in 17 games at McDonald Jones against the Sky Blues. So, expect Corica’s men to take some stopping in this one.

PREVIEW: Jets v Sydney FC
TALKING POINTS: Can Sydney claim another Championship?

Sydney FC should also have little trouble finding the net, having score in 18 successive matches away from home, dating back to January 2018.

Last week’s thrashing of the Roar aside, the Jets have struggled in front of goal this season, which is the main reason behind Ernie Merrick's side missing the finals.

They managed just 38 goals from their 26 games. Incredibly, 36 of those 38 (94.7%) have come from inside the penalty area, the highest share of any side in the competition.

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC, Saturday 5:35pm (AEST)

WATCH: It was the Sky Blues who prevailed in the last meeting between the two clubs

AAMI Park a fortress for finals-bound City

How Warren Joyce must be ruing the fact Melbourne City haven’t been able to secure a home final this season.

Because, while his side have been horribly inconsistent in 2018/19, their form in front of the home fans at AAMI Park has been the bedrock of their top-six finish.

City haven’t lost any of their last 11 games at AAMI, winning six of those with five draws.

They’ve also won five straight at the venue against the Mariners, last losing to the Gosford club in Melbourne more than five years ago (March 2014).

PREVIEW: City v Mariners
MRP'S VERDICT: Rowles learns his fate after red card

But surprisingly, while the Mariners will finish with the wooden spoon this season, City have yet to beat them in 2018/19.

In fact, Central Coast’s 2-1 win over City earlier this year was the Mariners’ first of the season and snapped a 10-game winless run against their Melbourne rivals.

If the Mariners are to make it back-to-back wins against City, expect them to do the damage in the first half, with 55% of their goals this season coming in the opening 45 minutes, the highest share of any club.

But there may not be many goals in this one.

City (34 goals) and the Mariners (31) are two of the three lowest scorers this season (either side of Adelaide United – 32).

Melbourne City v Central Coast Mariners, Friday 7:50pm (AEST)

WATCH: Mariners shock City earlier this season

Will Roar snap their Suncorp woes on ANZAC Day?

It was horrible viewing for Brisbane Roar fans the last time their side ran out at Suncorp Stadium, their 6-1 capitulation against the Jets just last Saturday.

The heavy defeat continues a worrying trend on their home patch this term for the men in orange.

Roar have lost six of their last nine games at Suncorp, conceding four or more goals in five of those matches.

There’s no doubt new boss Robbie Fowler’s first task will be tightening up the defence and fixing their home form in 2019/20.

ROBBIE FOWLER: 'It's taken me a long time to get back. Thankfully now I'm here' 
MATCH PREVIEW: Brisbane Roar take on Adelaide United in the ANZAC Day game

The Liverpool legend will be in the stands today as Roar look to snap a two-game losing streak against the Reds, who have never registered three straight victories against Brisbane.

But Marco Kurz’s men do come into this one in ominous form.

Adelaide are on a four-game unbeaten run – with three of those wins – and have conceded just one goal in that time.

Although, the Reds have only kept a clean sheet against Roar once in their last 21 match-ups, with their last meeting that epic come-from-behind 4-3 win at Coopers Stadium.

Most importantly, victory for Kurz's side at Suncorp will lock up that all-important fourth place in the ladder, and a home match to kick off the Hyundai A-League Finals Series next week.

Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United, Thursday 2pm (AEST)

WATCH: The incredible seven-goal thriller between the Reds and Roar earlier this season

Krishna the goal king driving Phoenix’s title charge

Depending on how Adelaide United fare against Brisbane Roar on ANZAC Day, Phoenix could still be in the hunt for a top-four finish when they take on Premiers Perth Glory on Sunday night.

While Wellington’s strong form and eye-catching football has been one of the highlights of the season, it would take something a bit extra to get a result in the west.

Phoenix have lost on each of their last four visits to HBF Park, including a 3-0 trouncing earlier this season.

Glory have lost just one of their last eight games on home soil and have conceded in only one of their last six games at the venue.

Wellington also have not won any of their last four games away from New Zealand, this after a five-match unbeaten run on their travels.

PREVIEW: Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix
GLORY DAYS: Castro re-signs with Perth for two more years

But the visitors have an ace-in-the-pack in star striker Roy Krishna.

The flying Fijian (18 goals) is favourite to finish with the Golden Boot, currently sitting two goals clear of Sydney FC’s Adam Le Fondre.

And Krishna – who scored a hat-trick in last weekend’s 3-2 win over City – has scored 13 of his goals in 2019, more than any other player this calendar year.

His impressive haul comes despite missing three penalties for the campaign.

Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix, Sunday 7pm (AEST)

WATCH: Krishna completes his hat-trick to snatch a win against City

Victory about to hit unwanted treble?

The defending Champions head to ANZ Stadium having lost their last two away games in the Hyundai A-League.

If Victory slump to defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night, it would be their worst run away from home since December 2015.

But Kevin Muscat’s troops enjoy facing the Wanderers and have won the last four meetings between the two clubs, averaging three goals per match.

Western Sydney’s struggles against Victory haven’t just been confined to Melbourne either. Wanderers have managed just one win against Victory in their last seven home games against them.

PREVIEW: Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory
INJURY BLOW: Troisi may miss Hyundai A-League Finals Series opener

This will be the Wanderers’ last ‘home’ game at ANZ Stadium before they move back to Parramatta and the new Bankwest Stadium next season.

After a run of seven successive losses at the Homebush venue, Markus Babbel’s men have avoided defeat in their last two games there.

If Victory are to end their 2018/19 Season on a high, expect Roly Bonevacia to play a big role.

The former Phoenix attacker has provided more assists in 2019 than any other player, racking up seven goals for his teammates this calendar year.

Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory, Saturday 7:50pm (AEST)

WATCH: The last time Wanderers took on Victory at ANZ Stadium