Stats preview: Kruse is the danger as Victory take stats edge into Melbourne Derby

Ten points separate the Melbourne rivals ahead of the Christmas Derby but Robbie Kruse could be the man delivering presents to Victory fans this festive season.

Erick Mombaerts’ second-place Melbourne City may have a closer eye on Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney FC than eighth-place Victory, but the form book gets thrown out of the window on Derby day.

Despite their struggles this campaign, Marco Kurz’s side lead the competition in clean sheets with four, double as many as the next best side, and one key stat suggests Kruse could be the man to watch.

The Caltex Socceroos attacker has, on average, a goal every 55 minutes in Melbourne Derbies, with three goals in 165 minutes. That’s the best goal-scoring ratio in the rivalry’s history.

The last three Melbourne Derbies have ended in draws but, before the deadlock set in, Victory had won four of the previous six.

City went down 3-0 against Perth Glory last time at home, and it’s been 21 months since City last lost back-to-back games at AAMI Park.

Victory, on the other hand, have only lost one of 12 at AAMI Park, and are undefeated in their last five Melbourne Derbies at the same venue.

Highlights: Newcastle Jets 0-4 Melbourne City

MATCH PREVIEW: Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory
TALKING POINTS: City's mauling of the Jets the best performance of the season

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Saturday, 21v December 2019
Kick-off: 5.00pm AEDT
Venue: AAMI Park
Broadcast: ABC TV, FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports, ABC iView 

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Wanderers could be just the tonic for United’s NSW troubles

Western United FC may be on a run of back-to-back wins but they are yet to score a goal in three matches against New South Wales opposition, losing each of those three games.

Western United are on the brink of a record, having never won three on the spin in their short history, and you can never count them out. Mark Rudan’s side are the Hyundai A-League club with the most points from losing positions this year, with nine.

Meanwhile, Markus Babbel’s side are one defeat away from the club’s worst ever losing run of six straight matches, which was also set under the German’s rein 11 months ago.

Wanderers have the lowest average possession of any team in the competition this season, 46%, and lost the previous clash with the Green and Black, 2-1, back in Round 5.

One content to watch is Alessandro Diamanti versus the Red and Black defence. The Italian has played the most passes into the box this Hyundai A-League season, 112, but Wanderers trio, Matthew Jurman, Pirmin Schwegler and Keanu Baccus are the league’s top three in interceptions per game.

Highlights: Brisbane Roar 0-2 Western United

MATCH PREVIEW: Western Sydney Wanderers v Western United FC
NEWS: ‘It’s dogs***’: Babbel’s angry response to claims of Wanderers unrest

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Friday, 20 December 2019
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports


Road-trip joy set to continue for Sydney FC 

Wellington Phoenix have only won one of their last 10 against the Sky Blues, with the Hyundai A-League Champions winning three in a row. 

It’s even been plain sailing for Sydney FC across the Tasman, as the Harbour City side have won five and drawn two of their last seven.

Steve Corica’s side have enjoyed happy travels of late, winning their last five straight games outside of New South Wales, but they meet a 'Nix outfit in good form in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Ufuk Talay faces his former side off the back of five wins from their last seven matches on Kiwi soil but, it goes without saying, Wellington should watch out for Adam Le Fondre.

The English marksmen has scored 10 shots from 15 shots on target this season, a tally that the 33-year-old leads the competition in.

Highlights: Sydney FC 1-0 Central Coast Mariners

MATCH PREVIEW: Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC
NEWS: ‘He’s a legend of the club’: Why Sydney FC couldn’t let Ninkovic go

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Saturday, 21 December 2019
Kick-off: 4.45pm local, 2.45pm AEDT
Venue: Westpac Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports

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Glory set to pile up the stats against Jets

The stats sheet tilts heavily the Premiers’ favour in this one with Perth Glory winning 13 of their last 15 against Newcastle Jets at HBF Park.

Ernie Merrick’s side have claimed two wins in that time, meaning the last time these clubs played out a draw in Western Australia was more than 11 years ago.

Of the last five clashes between these teams, Glory have won four and kept four clean sheets, while Glory go into this match off the back of two straight Hyundai A-League wins and two shut outs.

Defence has shined for Tony Popovic’s side recently. Centre-backs Alex Grant and Gregory Wüthrich were on the scoresheet last week and the pair are joint second in the competition for interceptions (46).

The Jets have managed two wins from their last three games outside of New South Wales, giving some hope to Merrick’s men.

Highlights: Perth Glory 2-0 Western Sydney Wanderers

MATCH PREVIEW: Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets
RECAP: Watch all the McDonald’s Mini Matches from Round 10

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Saturday, December 21 2019
Kick-off: 4.30pm local, 7.30pm AEDT
Venue: HBF Park
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports

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Reds head to Central Coast in winning form

You have to go back to February 2017 to find the last time that Central Coast recorded a win against Adelaide United.

The Reds have come out on top seven times in eight games since, while they have taken maximum points on their last six visits to Gosford.

Gertjan Verbeek’s side have won four of their last six on their travels, including the last two back-to-back, while the stats sheets makes tougher reading for supporters in Yellow and Navy. 

The bright side shows the Mariners have scored more goals from outside the box than any club this season, three, and defender Kye Rowles has more blocked shots than any other player in the league (13).

Highlights: Adelaide United 2-1 Newcastle Jets

MATCH PREVIEW: Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
HOW TO WATCH: All the action from Hyundai A-League Round 11

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Sunday, December 15 2019
Kick-off: 6pm AEDT 
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports

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