Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix - Saturday 17:15, Fox Sports 4

The Jets were 2-1 up at Brisbane last Friday before a 69th minute own goal meant that they had to settle for a 2-2 draw, a result they’d surely have taken prior to travelling to the league leaders. The result means they remain in eighth and next up they host a Wellington side that put in a massive performance of their own last weekend as they won 5-2 at the Wanderers. Blake Powell netted a hat-trick in the first 33 minutes of that game and added a fourth on 71 minutes, with the Wanderers scoring a couple of consolation goals late on. They now trail the Jets by just a single point as both these sides look to have stretched clear of the Mariners in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

The Jets have a home win against City and the draw at Brisbane to show from their last two league games, having lost and failed to score in six of their nine games prior to that. Their home record this season is W3-D3-L5 and only two of those defeats were by more than one goal as they’ve held Adelaide and Brisbane to draws whilst beating both Melbourne sides. Their record when hosting bottom-three sides since the start of last season reads W1-D4-L0, with that win coming over Wellington themselves earlier this term. Three of the draws were 1-1’s and the other a 0-0 and as a result four of these games had fewer than three goals, with each of the draws also being goalless at the break. Phoenix’s five goals at the Wanderers similarly came out of nowhere as prior to that game they’d lost seven of nine winless matches, scoring just six goals across all of these games. Their away record this season is W2-D2-L7 and they’ve now conceded at least twice in their last six on the road, but have at least managed to score in eight of their 11 away games, although their record at the Jets and the Mariners this season is a disappointing W0-D1-L2.

The Jets have beaten Wellington at home and away already this season and, given they’ve been decent at home throughout the campaign, we’re siding with Newcastle in this one, but we’re taking some cover on the draw given their high tendency for stalemates when hosting fellow bottom-three sides. Wellington were undoubtedly impressive at the Wanderers but we’d need to see a little more from them to prove that it wasn’t a one-off.
Newcastle Jets -0.25 Asian Handicap - 1pt @ 2.05