Five weeks into the A-League season and the Jets are the surprise package in the top-half.
Five weeks into the A-League season and Newcastle are surprise occupants of a top-half position. It’s a bit early to get too excited of course and defeats in two of their three home matches don’t suggest a dramatic improvement for a side that won only three times in the whole of last season. However, they’ve already matched that number this term and a derby against the struggling Mariners is certainly an excellent chance to keep the momentum going.
The Mariners last away win came in the 2013/14 season and defeat in their opening two away games has stretched their losing streak on the road to seven games. One positive from those matches though is that they’ve at least scored in all seven defeats and they’ve actually scored in each of their last 13 games regardless of location. That of course highlights the problems they’ve faced at the back and has in turn led to their last 11 away games averaging more than 3.6 goals per game and in terms of team news they also look to be worse off than their opponents.
Goalkeeper Liam Reddy is being overlooked after criticising the manager while Eddy Brosnar has been released after doing the same and their absences are a loss for the defence while important winger Fabio Ferreira’s injury last week is a blow for the attack. The Jets record in this derby is not great, having won none of the last eight, but they will rarely have gone in as favourites and the big turnover of players in the off-season certainly looks to have led to improvements. However, there is still a long way for them to go and they remain vulnerable at the back so we’d expect both teams to score – which can be backed at 13/20 – and probably for Over 2.5 Goals to land at 5/6. Nevertheless this is a great chance for a rare derby win and to do so with both teams scoring looks excellent value.