In what is set to be the match of the round, Melbourne City take on high-flying Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium looking to get back to winning ways.
The mouth-watering clash pits second against third in the A-League however form has had a lot to do in the side’s past month in the competition.
City come into this one after a 3-1 loss at home to the hands of Perth Glory. The disappointing result was one where City let errors creep into their game once again to notch a blemish on their new defensive ethos.
There is no better opponent to test themselves this week than the league’s top scoring side with Ernie Merrick’s Newcastle netting 20 goals this season, four more than league leaders Sydney FC.
The Jets have had their potent strike force to thank for their impressive start to the season but injuries are starting to take a toll on the side from the Hunter.
Wayne Brown, Nick Cowburn and Daniel Georgievski are the latest to be omitted from the side, joining Jack Duncan, Ronald Vargas and Roy O’Donovan on the sidelines for this clash.
This won’t dishearten the Jets however with Andrew Nabbout and Dimi Petratos continuing their red-hot form that has seen them take the competition by storm.
Osama Malik is the only exclusion for City after being show a straight red in our last encounter against Perth. See who replaces him in our Team News
Last time they met
A resounding 4-0 win to City in March this year saw Bruno Fornaroli headline the performance at AAMI Park as Tim Cahill and Nick Fitzgerald joined him on the scoresheet.
City were dominant in the Round 23 encounter and got off to the perfect start through Cahill who netted after 12 minutes. It was then up to Fitzgerald and Fornaroli to round off the result after the break as the hosts continued Newcastle’s dismal form towards the end of the 2016/17 season.
Stats and facts
- There has been just one draw in the last 14 games between these teams, with the clubs alternating victories across their last seven meetings; City winning last time out.
- Melbourne City have won two of their three games away from home this season (L1), though this will be their first excursion of the campaign to New South Wales where they have won just one of their last nine (D3, L5)
- Melbourne city have scored three goals via direct free kicks this campaign, no other side has scored more than one.
- Bart Schenkeveld (90%) has the best passing accuracy of any player to have played in more than three games so far this season.
What was said
City Head Coach Warren Joyce
“You’re only as good as the game tomorrow and that’s the same for us as much as Newcastle,”
“Newcastle are free flowing and have some big threats in their side. They have got people who can score goals from a variety of positions so we've got to be aware of that and look at the things they are not as good at, just the same as any other team.”
Newcastle forward Andrew Nabbout
“They’re going to try and attack us as if they’re last on the table. They’ve had enough of not winning and they’ll be out there fighting every game.
“But it’s also time for us to really step up and take it to them. A win would take us seven points clear of them and that’s where you want to be around Christmas time. If we continue this form, it’s going to be hard to stop us.”
Where and when
City take on Newcastle this Saturday night at McDonald Jones Stadium, kick-off 7.50pm. City are back at home next week in our Star Wars Round double header as the men face the Central Coast while the women face Canberra on Sunday 10 November. Use the force and get your tickets for the match!