Newcastle Jets face a tough task as they travel across the Nullarbor to take on Perth in the final leg of a triple-header on Saturday.
The Jets begun the season brightly but have been found wanting in recent starts, losing five of their last seven matches with the other two being draws.
Perth continue to be inconsistent and managed to get a share of the points against Melbourne Victory last week after being considered rank outsiders.
Kenny Lowe’s outfit will be keen to maintain the outstanding record they hold over Newcastle.
Perth has won 12 of the last 14 games against the Jets while the other two resulted in draws. They actually haven’t suffered defeat to the Hunter-based outfit in over five years!
The cumulative score between the sides in their last six clashes reads 16-4 Perth’s way.
It has been well documented that Newcastle’s injury crisis has crippled their attempts to challenge the top six at this early stage of the season.
They have been given a big boost with key signing Andrew Nabbout being declared fit to make the trip west.
He has been an influential figure for the Jets as he leads the team in assists (three), while he is second in the shots (eight) and chances created (eight) department.
HOW IT PANS OUT
Perth are yet to lose at home in four games this season (2W, 2D) and look a very strong outfit at nib Stadium. Take them outside of their comfort zone though and they are nowhere near as strong.
Andy Keogh, the competition’s equal leading scorer with seven, has six goals at the venue but only one away and that was last week against the Victory.
The Glory are equal second in the competition when it comes to scoring at home (10) with only the Victory being better.
That spells danger signs for the Jets even though Perth are without Diego Castro. In a boost for the home side, Josh Risdon may be returning from injury early.
Newcastle has only managed one draw from four away games so far and averaging less than a goal a game on the road. They need to show something far greater than they have been of late if they are a hope of getting something out of this game.
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5:
Overs – Perth has averaged at least two goals a game against Newcastle in their last six matches and are returning 3.33 gpg in the last four clashes