LOGJAMNewcastle is currently stuck in a three-way logjam for sixth spot and are on 17 points but have been enjoying arguably their best patch of form all season. Their past six games has seen them win twice, draw twice and lose twice and in all of those games bar the last one, they scored at least two goals.
CITY RESURFACINGTwo wins in their past three matches will have pleased the Melbourne faithful. Looking deeper into their recent form though and you have to say they aren't the fluid attacking force of earlier in the season. They, like Newcastle, have gone two-two-two in their past six games but their two wins were against teams which had a man sent off (Western Sydney and Central Coast). While Bruno Fornaroli has been their main man for well over a season, leading their team in 2016/17 with 11 goals this term, it's been Socceroo Tim Cahill which has been putting them in the back of the net recently by registering five goals in the past six games.
THE HISTORYThere's been a strange scenario play out between these teams the past four times they have clashed. Each side has traded wins during that time with City getting the better of Newcastle when they met earlier in the year, 2-1. Funnily enough, it was a similar scoreline the previous time they met but on that occasion it was Newcastle who got the chocolates back in February last year.
HOW IT PANS OUTWhile Newcastle has been going well they have seemed to struggle against teams with high-powered attack. That doesn't bode well for them here with City boasting one of the best attacks in the competition (ranked fourth) while the Jets defence is one of the worst (1.75gpg). With Cahill in ominous form and the likes of Fornaroli regularly putting goals away, the Newcastle defence will be in for a tough time. City's defence in home games, however, has been terrible and they only boast a plus/minus of +3 in nine matches - definitely not good enough for a team of their quality.
THE VERDICTAndrew Nabbout has had a breakout season with the Newcastle Jets and if he has a tremendous game then his side are a chance of causing the upset. Ably assisted by the likes of Ma Leilei, they are capable of winning this but we are going a little left field and going for a Draw.
THE TIP: Draw
‘TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5’ Overs
‘1ST GOALSCORER’ Tim Cahill