Both teams are desperate for points too as they aren’t out of contention for spot in the finals so this game will have more than just the usual fireworks.
Newcastle’s finals charge has stalled off the back of one point in their past three games while the Mariners were brought back down to earth with a 3-0 defeat to the Victory.
The Jets were beginning to look like a finals team, however, they went to Adelaide and dropped a game they needed to win.
With just two wins on the road this season they definitely don’t deserve to play finals football. Their only saving grace is their home form where they have lost just twice and that is what is keeping them in the finals race at the moment.
Mark Jones’ outfit went on a streak of eight games from nine matches where they scored at least two goals but that form has dried up over the past fortnight, with Newcastle held scoreless by the Victory and Adelaide.
Paul Okon’s men were given a dose of reality last week.
Chasing four straight wins for the first time in a long time, Central Coast were comprehensively outclassed in a 3-0 result against Melbourne at home.
Being a Derby were expect a bit of ‘bounce back’ from the Mariners who had scored two goals in three straight games prior to the loss last week.
The loss left them on 19 points which put them five behind the Wanderers and two behind the Jets heading into this round as the battle for sixth spot intensifies.
Newcastle have enjoyed the F3 Derby more than their rivals in recent times.
The Jets are unbeaten in the last six Derbys in which has seen them win twice but draw on the other four occasions.
Newcastle’s last five matches against the Mariners at this venue has resulted in a draw.
Things are pointing to a very even contest.
We can’t see either side sitting back and trying to earn a point because it’s three they need, not just one, if they want to be a part of the finals in two months time.
The advantage is definitely with Newcastle despite their recent dip in form. Returning to McDonald Jones Stadium, where they are unbeaten in their past five games, will definitely give them a boost.
When it comes to home records Newcastle is actually ranked sixth for points earned (14) while their defence in front of their fans has conceded 1.2 goals per game – only Sydney and Brisbane are better in that category.
Compare that to the Central Coast defence on the road, which has conceded two goals a game and is one of the worst in the league, and everything points to the Jets picking up the points.
THE TIP: NEWCASTLE JETS
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: UNDER 2.5 – five of the last six games between them has seen just two goals or less scored