Despite eleven points and five positions on the table separating the sides, Saturday’s clash with Newcastle Jets had positioned itself as one of the most intriguing clashes of the round with both sides having a lot to play for.
Both sides have had the week off through the league’s split round, having the chance to rest and recover before a vital run towards the Finals Series, and the ability to fine-tune aspects of the side’s respective games could be on show at AAMI Park.
With City’s home Final on the line and the Jets chance to move to equal points with Western Sydney in sixth, Saturday’s clash could be make or break for both sides with four rounds remaining.
City Head Coach Michael Valkanis has added three players to the side from last Sunday’s clash with the Mariners with Manny Muscat, Daniel Arzani and Manny Muscat added to the extended side.
The major out from the side is the loss of Fernando Brandan who will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury. Full team news
The last time
It was definitely not a trip to Coffs Harbour that Melbourne City would have liked to remember with cancelled flights, 24 hours of transport and a rock hard pitch topping off their 2-1 loss in January.
In-form man of the competition Andrew Nabbout fired twice to give the Jets the win on the night as Bruno Fornaroli picked up the consolation from the penalty spot.
Stats and facts
- In each of the last three games between these teams, the home side has notched a 2-1 victory.
- Melbourne City have lost just once to the Jets in their last eight home games against them (W5 D2 L1)
- Newcastle have come home with zero points in each of their last three visits to Melbourne. Their last win coming in October 2015.
What was said this week
“It’s massive, we’ve had the weekend off and we’re all fresh,”
“I think it’s a credit to the league that every game is a hard game, you can’t take any team lightly and Newcastle proved that this year,” he said.
“They are sniffing for the finals as well so we need to come out firing as they do every week against us so it’s going to be a tough game.
“The league is getting more physical more intense and the football is getting better and better each year so its getting harder and harder but we have prepared very well for it.” Full article.
Newcastle keeper Jack Duncan
“We can take confidence out of the fact that we went up there (to Coffs Harbour) and were defensively very solid, we also scored two good goals.”
“We just need to stick to our game plan. We did that the last game when we beat them, and if we go down there and have the same mentality and be positive then we can get the win.”
“It will be a different atmosphere, a different crowd, but at the end of the day it’s 11 players against 11 players,”
Where and when
City take on the Newcastle Jets on Saturday, kick-off 7.50pm at AAMI Park.
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