This has the potential to be one of the most entertaining matches of the year. Newcastle has been arguably the best team for neutrals to watch this season and will not take a backward step despite being away from home. While Victory, after a slow start to the season, is beginning to click into gear and will be full of confidence after scoring a dramatic late winner in last weekend’s Melbourne Derby. Victory loves it when teams come to Melbourne and try to attack, which Newcastle will do, so this one has all the ingredients for an end-to-end, high-scoring affair.
3 KEY POINTS
- MELBOURNE VICTORY’S late 1-0 win over Melbourne City last weekend ensured Kevin Muscat’s side won two games in a row for the first time this season
- MELBOURNE VICTORY has climbed to fifth on the table - the highest it has been at the conclusion of a round all season
- NEWCASTLE’S 4-0 success over Western Sydney last week was its third straight win
- Newcastle was a resounding victor when these teams met in Round 8, winning 4-1 in a swashbuckling display
- Newcastle is the only side Victory has a losing record against. Of the 37 games between the two teams, the Jets have won 15 and Victory 13.
- Since the start of the 2013-14 season Newcastle has won two and drawn another of its five games at AAMI Park
- Despite what the history says, Victory is primed to record three straight wins for the first time this season. Things are starting to click for the three-time champions and the Kevin Muscat-coached side will love the extra space afforded to them to attack against a Newcastle team that will refuse to park the bus.
VICTORY / VICTORY
- If Victory is to win then it needs to be from start to finish.
- Has signed a new contract and will be desperate to prove a point after being overlooked to take the winning penalty in last week’s derby. Is also still snarling after twice being denied by the VAR in recent weeks.
TOTAL GOALS OVER OR UNDER
- Go for a bit of value and back in the over 3.5 or even over 4.5 goals in this one. Newcastle is the most prolific scorer in the competition and is sure to score at least once, but Victory will have plenty of chances on the counter.