The Wanderers’ last 10 wins have come after being level at the break.
The Jets suffered their first defeat in five games as they lost 2-0 at Perth on the weekend but nonetheless remain in 8thand only five points behind Perth in 6th. Meanwhile, the Wanderers’ defeat at Brisbane means that they’ve now won just one of their last five, but they remain just a point behind Adelaide ahead of this round of matches.
The Jets have beaten the Mariners, Phoenix and City in their last five games, this after winning just one of 13 prior to that. Their record at the Hunter Stadium this season is W4-D3-L5, with three of those wins coming in their last four home matches. The Jets have hosted the current top-five seven times this season, with six being goalless at the break. Indeed, the Jets have only lost one of seven home matches against top-three teams by more than one goal since the start of last term and didn’t trail at the break in any of these games.
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Part of the Wanderers’ problem in recent weeks has been starting slowly as they’ve trailed at the break in three of their last five and in fact were 3-0 down at half-time at home to the struggling Phoenix a few weeks ago. Their away record this season is W4-D4-L3 with three of their four wins coming over bottom-three sides, including a 2-1 win at the Jets themselves earlier in the season. Only one of these three wins, a 3-0 victory at bottom of the league Mariners was by more than one goal and they’ve only led at the break in one away match this season, again at the Mariners.
On paper the Wanderers look a little short to us in this one for a side that has won just once in five but the Jets are missing two of their first choice back four through suspensions, meaning two midfielders will play in defence. The Jets do have a good record of keeping things tight in the first half – 15/25 home games since the start of last season have been goalless at HT – but they went W1-D1-L6 at home to top-six finishers last term and are slightly fortunate to be W2-D2-L4 at home against the current top six this term. Given the Wanderers’ poor first half record on the road it might take some time for them to break down the Jets but with those problems in defence for the home side and the fact seven of the Wanderers’ last 10 wins have come after being level at the break there looks good value in the half-time/full-time market.