Numbers Game w/ David Manuca

Kick-off for the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season is just a matter of days away after a long and toilsome off-season.

Kick-off for the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season is just a matter of days away after a long and toilsome off-season.

Never before has there been so much hype surrounding the A-League, with media attention at an all-time high thanks to a number of high-profile signings.

The quality of football is expected to be the best on show in the seven year history of the league and the players, staff, fans, media - basically everyone can-t wait!

Melbourne Heart-s season begins this Saturday afternoon when they travel to Ausgrid Stadium in Newcastle to face the Jets.

Here I-ll look at some interesting and just plain random stats ahead of our opening round clash!

Results: Melbourne Heart and Newcastle Jets have played each other three times in A-League history - ending in a win to Heart, a win to Newcastle and a draw.

When they faced at Ausgrid Stadium (formerly known as Energy Australia) last season the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Even though Heart have never lost at the stadium, they have never scored at the venue either, with their goal last season coming courtesy of a Ben Kantarovski own goal.

Possession: Even though the results have been shared, Heart has firmly had the edge over Newcastle in the possession stats.

Heart had an average possession total of 54.1% last season, but against Newcastle their average possession total was considerably above average at 57.3%.

Passing: Last season Melbourne Heart made a total of 1070 completed passes in their three encounters against Newcastle with an average passing accuracy of 81%, which was above their season average of 79%.

Melbourne Heart-s best passers last season were Nick Kalmar, who made a total of 74 completed passes with a passing accuracy of 88%, and Matt Thompson, who made 143 completed passes with a passing accuracy of 84%.

Not tested: In Melbourne Heart and Newcastle Jets two most recent encounters in the A-League Clint Bolton hasn-t been forced to make one save.

His only saves between the two sides came in the first match last season when he made just three saves out of his 92 for the whole season.

The Jets also have a very poor shooting record with just 24% of their total shots on goal hitting the target against Heart.

Random Stat: When Melbourne Heart line up against Newcastle Jets this Saturday, it will be their first A-League game in 238 days - the longest off-season for a club in A-League history.