A-League Grand Final - Jets vs Victory Preview & Betting Tips
Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory do battle in this season’s A-league Grand Final.
Newcastle v Melbourne Victory
McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle’s impressive home record against Melbourne Victory holds them in good stead for Saturday’s A-league Grand Final.
The Jets have been pretty good at home this season, winning eight and drawing twice from 14 games but it is their dominance over the Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium which could be the key to deciding to who lifts the trophy. Newcastle has lost just once to Melbourne Victory in their past 12 clashes at the venue.
In their three head-to-head meetings this season, Newcastle won two of those while Victory saluted in the other. Significantly, both wins by the Jets were at home.
Coach Ernie Merrick has done a great job in turning around the fortunes of Newcastle this season after they ended up with the wooden spoon last campaign. Such has been the improvement in the team that their 16 wins accumulated for 2017/18 matches their win total from the previous three seasons combined.
It is no fluke that Newcastle finished second on the table at the end of the regular season behind runaway Premier's Plate winners Sydney FC as they made some serious personnel changes in the offseason. The likes of Irish hitman Roy O’Donovan and Ronny Vargas have added a new dimension to the Jets while Andrew Nabbout, prior to his departure, and Dimi Petratos went to a new level as well.
Newcastle were the second best side when it came to attack in the A-league (57 goals) while their defence at home was ranked third behind Sydney FC and Melbourne City.
The Jets made their way through to the final with a 2-1 win over Melbourne City which was highlighted by Riley McGee’s ‘scorpion kick’ goal that will be shown on highlight reels for forever and a day.
Melbourne Victory weren’t overly flash on the road for most part this season and only scored 18 goals from 13 matches but their defence kept them in most matches and which saw them as the third-best side in the league for that statistic.
Most importantly for Victory is that last week’s win against Sydney FC at Allianz broke a seven-game losing run against the Sky Blues. In what was an epic encounter, how much did that take out of them considering they needed extra time?
Victory are definitely in this up to their eyeballs and you can never count out experience when it comes to these matches. Kevin Muscat’s side will be eager to go one better than last season but they have a bunch of proven winners in their side including the A-league’s all-time leading scorer, Besart Berisha, while Kosta Barbarouses and James Troisi were brilliant last week.
With a sell out crowd in the Hunter for this decider and a boisterous atmosphere behind them, we’ll tip the Jets to win the Grand Final 10 years after their first and only A-League championship.
For Correct Score players, a 2-1 result is the way to go because we think both sides will manage to get on the scoresheet while Riley McGree is our choice for in First Goal Scorer markets. After last week, why wouldn’t he be? But aside from that he bagged a hat-trick against the Mariners in the final round of the regular season so he definitely has his eye in on goal.
NOTE: Both sides have suffered injury setbacks with defender Rhys Williams missing once again after injuring himself in the warm up last week while Newcastle’s keeper Jack Duncan has failed to overcome a quad injury. Glen Moss will be between the posts for the home side.
Best Bet: Newcastle Jets (Result) @ $2.35*
Next Best: Yes – Both Teams To Score @ $1.55*
Next Best: Besart Berisha To Score @ $2.25*
Value bet: Riley McGree First Goal Scorer @ $11*