Inflicting some Grand Final revenge and trying to keep their Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Finals Series hopes alive - Newcastle Jets are not short of motivation heading into Saturday night’s clash against Melbourne Victory.
But the Hunter club will need to find an answer to their travel woes if they are to clinch a vital three points.
Plane travel hasn’t been kind for Ernie Merrick’s men over the last 12 months, with the club’s last win outside of NSW coming way back in March 2018.
It’s one of a few ominous stats for the Jets if they are to turn the tide at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, in a match that can be seen LIVE and FREE on 10 Bold or tenplay.
Victory have won their last three games in succession against the Jets, including both games earlier this season.
While this game won’t be played at Victory’s normal home grounds at AAMI Park or Marvel Stadium, they are undefeated in their last three matches in Geelong.
And if those games are anything to go by, there should be plenty of goals in this one.
The last four matches at the venue has seen 17 goals scored, with no team able to keep a clean sheet.
Interestingly, despite being outside the top six, the Jets have scored more goals (26) in the second half of games this campaign than any other team.
Roy O’Donovan has contributed a few of those goals but the Irishman has never found the net against Victory, the only current Hyundai A-League outfit he’s failed to score against.
Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets, Saturday 7.50pm (AEDT)
Fullbacks key to City’s chances against Glory?
New striker Jamie Maclaren may have scored Melbourne City’s last three goals in the Hyundai A-League but it could be the influence of their fullbacks that may shape their chances against league-leaders Perth Glory on Sunday.
Both skipper Scott Jamieson and import Ritchie De Laet have been excellent for inconsistent City this campaign, especially going forward.
Jamieson’s three assists this season is more than any other player who is yet to score a goal of their own, while right-back De Laet has scored six times, twice as many as any other defender.
City will need the duo to add to their tallies if they are to pull off an upset against the high-flying Glory.
Only once in the last nine meetings between the clubs has City managed a win, while the last five games between them at AAMI Park has seen the hosts pick up just two points.
Warren Joyce’s men would love a fast start but that could prove difficult against a Glory team that has yet to concede in the opening 15 minutes of a match this season.
Melbourne City v Perth Glory, Sunday 5pm (AEDT)
Omens good for Premiership-chasing Sky Blues
They have plenty of ground to make up but there’s a quiet confidence amongst Sydney FC players they can chase down the eight-point gap between themselves and Premiers-elect Perth Glory.
While a clash against fellow top-four side Adelaide United looms as a tricky encounter, the Sky Blues’ record against the Reds tells a different story.
Sydney FC are undefeated in their last eight Hyundai A-League games the Reds, keeping six clean sheets in that time.
A 2-1 win over Adelaide United at Jubilee Stadium earlier this season is one of six games (5W, 1D) that the Sky Blues have gone unbeaten on home soil.
Although, it must be pointed out none of those wins have come at Leichhardt Oval.
But the Reds have improved on their travels of late, unbeaten in their last four on the road, with two of those matches ending in 0-0 draws.
Scoring goals has been an issue for Marco Kurz’s side all season.
Adelaide United have scored 27 goals so far in 2018/19, 10 fewer than their Expected Goals suggests they should have.
In contrast, Sydney FC have scored 34, which is two more than their Expected Goals figure.
Sydney FC v Adelaide United, Friday 7.50pm (AEDT)