Melbourne Victory is finally back in the winner’s circle, having snared its first win of the season in last weekend’s 2-0 result against Perth. Newcastle was brought back to earth with a 2-1 loss at defending champions Sydney FC, albeit in an entertaining match. But due to bizarre scheduling, Victory – who played on Sunday night – are being made to play on a four-day break in the Hunter Valley at a McDonald Jones Stadium ground that has not made for happy hunting over the years. Victory has won just three of 17 A-League games at the home of the Jets and, given the home side’s impressive start to the season, they’ll be banking on that run continuing.
3 KEY POINTS
- MELBOURNE VICTORY took seven games to secure its first win of the season - a club record.
- NEWCASTLE has only lost to Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium on three occasions.
- There have been just five first half goals in the last 11 games involving MELBOURNE VICTORY. Victory has scored just two of those.
- Newcastle is the only side Victory has a losing record against. Of the 36 games between the two teams, the Jets have won 14 and Victory have won 13.
- Victory has only won once at McDonald Jones Stadium since the start of 2010 - that was in January 2016.
- Last season, Victory recorded two two-goal wins against the Jets (at AAMI Park and Geelong) and also came away from the Hunter with a 0-0 draw in February.
- Play this match next week and it might be a different story, given the respective quality of the two squads. Victory has been stiffed by the travel factor here, having had to fly from Perth on Monday straight to Newcastle – avoiding Melbourne altogether. Then of course there are the ground and match-up factors. For whatever reason, certain teams play well against certain teams and for the Jets, Victory is the one team they always seem to beat. Credit, too, has to be given to the Jets for how well they are playing under Ernie Merrick.
DRAW / NEWCASTLE
- Victory games have been tight affairs this season, particularly in the first half. So, wait for the second 45 minutes for the game to open up and for tired legs to take over.
- Was held back by Merrick for the game against Sydney last week to ensure he was in tip-top shape to meet the Victory.
TOTAL GOALS OVER OR UNDER
- Both teams like to attack and although historically games between these two at this ground have been low-scoring affairs, this one has a hint of goals in it.