Melbourne City FC
4
Hyundai A-League
(Sat 18 Mar 2017, 07.50PM LOCAL)
FINAL
Venue: AAMI Park
Attendance: 8949
Fox Sports
ABC
Newcastle Jets
0

Timeline

Cahill itching for chance against Jets

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City boss on players' Socceroos chances

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Hyundai A-League preview: City v Jets

Melbourne City will hope their enviable home record against Newcastle Jets can help them maintain their hold on third spot in the Hyundai A-League as they dream of Asia.

MATCH DETAILS

Saturday, 18 March 2017

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1: Ashley Beecham

Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown

Fourth Official: Shaun Evans

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: ABC Radio Melbourne, ABC Radio Vic, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio), 1116 SEN (Melbourne)

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MCYvNEW #FFW

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Osama MALIK, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 14.Daniel ARZANI, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (c), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 34.Denis GENREAU, 40.Yaren SOZER (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Manny Muscat, Paulo Retre

Ins: 2.Manny MUSCAT (returns from suspension), 14.Daniel ARZANI (promoted), 34.Denis GENREAU (promoted)

Outs: 27.Fernando BRANDAN (ACL – season)

Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk) (suspended – 1 match), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season)

Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Daniel MULLEN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Aleksandr KOKKO, 10.Wayne BROWN, 12.Harrison SAWYER, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 18.MA Leilei, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 28.John KOUTROUMBIS, 29.Joel ALLWRIGHT, 50.Tomislav ARCABA (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 12.Harrison SAWYER (promoted), 13.Ivan VUJICA (promoted), 20.JACK DUNCAN (gk) (returns from injury), 29.Joel ALLWRIGHT (promoted)

Outs: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (suspended – 1 match), 30.Pierce CLARK (gk) (omitted)

Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (Achilles – season), 16.Nicholas COWBURN (international duty), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season)

Jets defender Jason Hoffman was left to rue his side's slow start against Melbourne City.

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

City will enter Saturday night's game at AAMI Park knowing a win will ensure they stay third in the A-League table for another week - an important step as they look to secure a home elimination final and potential AFC Champions League (ACL) qualification for 2018.

Playing in Asia's premier club competition is a key goal for club owners City Football Group, while finishing third would also improve the Bundoora-based outfit's chances of winning a maiden Hyundai A-League championship in 2016/17.

The A-League premiers and champions qualify automatically for the ACL, while a play-off berth is reserved for second-place in the regular season.

But with every A-League champion having come from the top two throughout the competition's history; it is reasonable to expect finishing third will see City playing in Asia next year.

City (33 points) face a fight for that third spot, however, as fourth-placed Brisbane Roar are behind only on goal difference, while Perth Glory - who are fifth - are on 32 points.

With only two home games remaining before the A-League finals, City will need to make the most of this week's match against Newcastle.

The Jets have only beaten City once in their past eight trips south to face the Victorian club.

In previous meetings this season, City defeated Newcastle 2-1 in November, while the Jets reciprocated in January in Coffs Harbour.

Mark Jones' Jets lose full-back Jason Hoffman for this match through suspension but regain goalkeeper Jack Duncan from injury.

Newcastle Jets keeper Jack Duncan has made the most saves in the Hyundai A-League this season.

Fernando Brandan is the big out for the home side, with the Argentine winger having suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury at training earlier this month.

Newcastle could move into the A-League's top six with a three-goal victory.

OPTA DATA

*Newcastle Jets have won three of their last five Hyundai A-League  games against Melbourne City, including a 2-1 win in their most recent encounter.

*Melbourne City has lost just once to the Newcastle Jets in their last eight home Hyundai A-League games against them (W5, D2).

*17.9% of Newcastle Jets’ goals this Hyundai A-League season have been scored via a header, the highest percentage of any team in the competition.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Both sides had a week off last week as part of the A-League's split round.

Newcastle will hope that extra break can spark their misfiring attack, which has scored just two goals in their past four matches.

If the Jets are to end their five-game winless run, they need more from veteran forwards Morten Nordstrand (3 goals) and Aleksandr Kokko (1).

City entered their extended layoff after putting three goals past Central Coast Mariners with marquee striker Bruno Fornaroli scoring twice.

Bruno Fornaroli is set to play his 50th Hyundai A-League game for Melbourne City this weekend.

Fornaroli's winner came from the penalty spot - the eighth spot-kick converted by City this term, which is the best in the A-League.

That should worry the Jets as their skipper Nigel Boogaard has conceded three penalties this season - the most of any A-League player alongside City defender Manny Muscat.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Nicholas Cowburn. The Jets full-back will be unavailable for this match as he is the only A-League player to have been selected for an Australian development squad that will spend next week in Spain.

FORM LINES

Melbourne City: LDWLW

Newcastle Jets: LDLDL

PREDICTION

Melbourne City 2-1 Newcastle Jets

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Nabbout in awe of Cahill's talents

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City v Jets highlights
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Classy City consolidate third after Jets rout

Melbourne City have consolidated third spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder following a resounding 4-0 win over the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

An early trademark header from City striker Tim Cahill opened the scoring, with substitute Nick Fitzgerald doubling the advantage after the interval with a delicate chip.

City striker Tim Cahill opens the scoring against the Jets with a header on Saturday night.

Two goals in six minutes from Bruno Fornaroli put the result beyond doubt, with the City captain converting from the penalty and sweeping home from close range.

While City dominated possession from the outset it was the visitors that had a great chance to open the scoring when Andrew Nabbout was played through on goal but he pushed his shot wide of the back post.

Aside from a chance to substitute Morten Nordstrand at the start of the second half that was to be as close as the Jets would come to finding the back of the net on a night City dominated.

Fornaroli came close to sealing a hat-trick with a couple of inviting late chances however it mattered little as his side claimed back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 2.

The result sees City move three points clear of Brisbane ahead of their match against the Reds, while Newcastle remain one win outside the top six with either the Wanderers or Phoenix to push ahead when they also meet on Sunday.

GOALS

1-0 Melbourne City: Tim Cahill, 12’

Josh Rose whipped in a cross to the six-yard line where Cahill got the better of Johnny Koutroumbis in the air and headed strongly past Jack Duncan. Cahill celebrated the goal by paying homage to Aussie tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt who was in the crowd with a mock serve.

Tim Cahill

2-0 Melbourne City:  Nick Fitzgerald, 65’

Former Mariners pair Anthony Caceres and Fitzgerald combined in the attacking third, with Caceres chipping the Jets defence to play in his teammate. Fitzgerald, who’d been on the pitch less than ten minutes, showed great composure to chip the onrushing Duncan and hit the back of the net.

3-0 Melbourne City: Bruno Fornaroli (pen.), 75’

Bruce Kamau had been on the pitch less than three minutes when he won his side a penalty after being upended in the box by Daniel Mullen. City’s skipper stepped up to the spot, sending Duncan the wrong way with his conversion.

Bruno Fornaroli

4-0 Melbourne City: Bruno Fornaroli, 81’

Ivan Franjic played in the overlapping run of Fitzgerald who fired the ball across the face of goal. Caceres got a touch as he miscued a shot but Fornaroli was on hand at the back post where he had plenty of time to pick his spot to grab a double.

Re-live the action on Twitter

@ALeague, @MelbourneCity, @NewcastleJetsFC, #MCYvNEW