A-League Preview: Newcastle v City

The clash

Eager to extend their unbeaten run, City take on Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.

City snapped a two-game losing streak, when they came from behind to earn a share of the spoils against Adelaide United at AAMI Park last Saturday night.

In-form attacker Craig Goodwin opened the scoring for the visitors on the stroke of half-time, when he headed home from close range, latching on to Nikola Mileusnic’s cross.

After going down against the run of play, Joyce’s men came out of the blocks firing in the second-half and after a flurry of chances eventually levelled the scores as Jamie Maclaren opened his City account on debut. Luke Brattan showed great composure inside the area to find Maclaren, before the Socceroos attacker made no mistake with a neat back heel finish from close range. Alongside Maclaren, fellow new signing Shayon Harrison made an impressive debut in City blue.

City will be eager to extend their unbeaten run when they travel to the Hunter determined to return with three-points.

Ernie Merrick’s Newcastle side are coming off a 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix in Round 18.

Wellington peppered the goals in the opening half an hour, before Jets attacker Ronald Vargas struck to open the scoring against the run of play. After the ‘Nix hit the upright on two occasions, Vargas toyed with their defence before blasting the ball into the roof of the net in the 33rd minute. David Williams then hit back with a clinical finish before the Jets came storming home.

Unable to punish the ‘Nix, Newcastle went close to squandering the points when Benjamin Kantarovski conceded a late penalty, although Roy Krishna’s attempted drive down the middle of the goal was kept out by Glen Moss to ensure that Newcastle earned a point.

Following their Hyundai A-League clash, Newcastle had a midweek AFC Champions League fixture with Perija Jakarta on Tuesday night. Merrick’s men defeated the Indonesian side 3-1 in the second preliminary round, with goals to Ronald Vargas, Nigel Boogaard and Matthew Ridenton after the match went to extra-time.

With the Jets heavy schedule over the past week, City will be looking to finish the game strongly on Friday night.

Last time they met

The last time the two teams met was in Round 11, when City defeated Newcastle 2-1 at AAMI Park.

Roy O’Donovan opened the scoring inside the first five minutes of play for the visitors, before City hit back through goals to Riley McGree who scored against his former side and Luke Brattan.

What was said

Head Coach Warren Joyce

"If you look at their team, at their best, they've got to the Grand Final and should have won it. We know they will have players missing but there will be players out there to prove and point and we're expecting our lads to take this game like any other match."

Newcastle Head Coach Ernie Merrick

“Not many of these boys could play and then go to Japan. The bus leaves on Saturday morning after the Friday game around 5am, so it’s going to be pretty tough going over to play in Kashima against the Antlers if the boys have to play on Friday night. It’s going to be a completely different team."

Where and when

City take on Newcastle on Friday night at McDonald Jones Stadium, kick-off 7.50pm.