JETS TAKING OFFMark Jones’ outfit have turned the corner over the past five rounds and it coincided with their win over Perth at nib Stadium. Since then they beat Adelaide and Brisbane while they also have a draw against Wellington. In fact, their only loss during that span was against the red-hot Melbourne Victory and even then they pushed them to a 4-2 result in a highly entertaining affair. Their efforts have seen them become somewhat of a highly dangerous team too, with 11 goals in total being scored by the Jets during this five-game span.
GLORY STARTING TO RISE?Perth was able to get back to winning ways for the first time in six weeks when they beat Wellington at home last week. While their efforts at home have been okay, its games away from nib Stadium which are of bigger concern to coach Kenny Lowe. The Glory only has one win on the road from seven matches and that was against Melbourne City of all teams. Their defence has also been terrible for much of the season which sees them rank third-last in that category when playing away (15 goals from seven games).
THE HISTORYNewcastle’s win over Perth in the west five weeks ago was the first time in 16 matches that they’d got the better of the Glory. While that particular hoodoo is now broken they must try and break another – Perth is unbeaten in the Hunter since a 2-0 loss to Newcastle back in November 2011. Funnily enough there’s also a strange quirk in recent clashes between these sides with the away team winning four of the past six games.
THE VERDICTWith this game being in Newcastle the advantage has to be with the Jets. We love the way they are playing at present with the likes of Andrew Nabbout, Nigel Boogaard, Andrew Hoole and Morten Norstrand, they are one of the most improved sides in the competition. Adding some much needed depth to the squad is Ma Leilei who has shown how dangerous he can be in creating space in his first few games in the A-league. The fact they can score goals at an average of 2.2 per game in their past five outings signals big danger for a Perth defence that leaks an average of two per game. Although Perth have the quality and the recent record to beat Newcastle, this Jets outfit looks like a team on the way up and that is good enough for us to tip them on top.
THE TIP: Newcastle
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: Overs