Bogey side to ground the Jets. Are we giving Newcastle enough credit? Everyone keeps waiting for the Jets to fall over but Ernie Merrick’s men just keep on keeping on, despite enduring a lengthy injury list that has robbed them key players such as Ronny Vargas and Roy O’Donovan. The last two wins – against Perth and Adelaide – have come late and have been far from pretty but that’s what good sides do - win when they’re not playing well. Meanwhile, Western Sydney got a much-needed win against Central Coast last week to get some breathing space from the critics who were starting to mount in light of the earlier derby capitulation. Historically the Wanderers have had the wood over the Jets, so this may be a golden opportunity to string two wins together for the first time this season
3 KEY POINTS
- NEWCASTLE has won three of its last four matches and two in a row.
- WESTERN SYDNEY’S win against Central Coast last week broke an eight-match winless run.
- NEWCASTLE has already won more games at home this season (three) than it won last season (two)
- Newcastle has never defeated Western Sydney at McDonald Jones Stadium, with three draws and five losses coming from eight games
- This is the second time these teams have played this season, with a 1-1 draw the result when they last met at this venue in Round 4
- Overall Western Sydney has won eight and drawn five of its 16 games against Newcastle
- For whatever reason in the A-League there are match-ups aplenty that time and time again deliver the same result. Newcastle’s woes against Western Sydney are real and, with that aforementioned injury list, are prime candidates to experience a fall at some point.
DRAW / WESTERN SYDNEY
- With the Jets the better side on paper, this could be one of those games that the longer it stays even the more confident the underdog Wanderers will become
- Western Sydney’s 2016-17 leading goalscorer only needs to be given one sniff, like last week, to hit the scoresheet. With confidence now high, Santa may have an unwanted Christmas gift for the Jets.
TOTAL GOALS OVER OR UNDER
- You always back the Jets to score, so prolific have they been, so if the Wanderers are to then win they’ll need at least two.