City will be looking to continue their unbeaten run when they take on Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium this Friday 15 January. Ahead of the match, we take a look at the five things we’re looking forward to.
A familiar foe on a happy stomping ground
Melbourne City are chasing their third-straight win over the Jets for the first time in Hyundai A-League history after two consecutive victories at AAMI Park.
Not only successful on their home deck against the Jets, City have also won four of their last six league fixtures against Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium, scoring an average of three goals per game in that span.
Under Friday night lights, City will be looking to continue their strong run of form in the Hunter.
The new boys on the block
New signings Jamie Maclaren and Shay Harrison both had impressive starts to life in City blue against the Reds last weekend.
While Maclaren made his mark with a late equaliser against Adelaide, Harrison was just as impressive, showing glimpses of his attacking threat, impressive skill set and pace throughout the 90 minutes of play.
There’s no doubt that both players will be better for the run as they look to build on their impressive debuts when they take on the Jets this Friday night.
Marquee man Ritchie De Laet and midfielder Luke Brattan have started the new year much like they ended the last, in-form and looking to punish the opposition.
The duo has been directly involved in seven of City’s past 10 goals, highlighting their attacking threat.
Despite moving back to defence, De Laet has showcased his ability to trouble the opposition’s goalkeeper, even from the backline. He has scored four goals to go alongside Brattan’s two goals and one assist, which has been one of City’s strongest assets.
Brattan’s ability to score from just about anywhere, as well as De Laet’s, sees them pose as a constant threat throughout the 90 minutes.
The beginning of a crucial period
City will be looking to claw their way back in to the top-four over the next four weeks. A crucial clash awaits at McDonald Jones Stadium this week, before they take on cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium.
Following the third and final Melbourne Derby of the regular season, City take on both Perth Glory and Sydney FC – three championship contenders on the trot.
Ahead of the crucial period, Head Coach Warren Joyce’s side will be looking to hit their straps, and it all begins with three-points on the road to Newcastle – a team with enough attacking threat to cause a few headaches.
After coming from a goal down to draw level with the Reds last weekend and earn a share of the spoils, City will be looking to return home from Newcastle with the three-points in hand as they look towards the Melbourne Derby.
All focus will be on this Friday night’s clash with the Jets, but there is no doubt that three-points in the Hunter will hand City some vital momentum heading into next weekend’s blockbuster Melbourne Derby.