Melbourne City can make the trip to Newcastle worthwhile by coming away with maximum points.
The Jets reverted back to type as they lost and failed to score at Adelaide, as they’ve now done in six of their last nine games. They’re now down to ninth and in danger of picking up the wooden spoon once again. City almost picked up a remarkable point at the Wanderers in their last game as they came back from 3-0 down to get it back to 3-2 with 12 minutes to go, but their comeback was foiled by a red card for Caceres as the home side went 4-2 up before City grabbed a 93rd minute consolation goal.
The Jets got off to a promising start this season as they won three of their opening four games, but it’s been downhill since then as they’ve managed just one win and that was at home to the struggling Phoenix. Their home record this season is W2-D3-L5 and whilst they’ve struggled for goals this term, with the exception of heavy defeats against City and Perth they’ve been decent defensively. As a result six of their home matches had fewer than three goals and four had no more than a single strike. Their home record since the start of last season against top-half sides is W2-D2-L9 and they failed to score in six of these defeats.
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City have definitely been the team to watch this season as they’ve scored 43 goals in their 17 games, but conceded 31 goals and consequently their games have averaged a remarkable 4.4 gpg. Their away record this season is a mixed W3-D3-L3, with two of those wins against the current bottom-two by a combined score of 10-1 and it’s also worth noting that they’ve led at half-time in each of their away wins this season. City’s eight games against bottom-half teams this season at home and away have seen 39 goals as they’ve proven adept at beating the lesser sides emphatically, with all six of their wins against these teams by at least two clear goals.
The Jets aren’t helped by the fact that their top-scorer this season Trifunovic is suspended for this game, but despite his absence, City’s leaky defence puts us off backing them to win to nil in this one. Over 3.5 goals is as short as 2.1, but with the concern that the Jets might struggle to score, the best way to approach this one is to back City to win convincingly, as they have done against the lesser teams throughout this season.