Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
2pm, Sunday, 3rd January
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
With the New Year comes new challenges for the Newcastle Jets and the first challenger in 2016 comes in the form of Melbourne Victory, who have so far had a difficult start to the season but will be looking to regain form in the New Year.
The Jets meanwhile have had a strong opening set of games, challenging for finals football under Craig Deans and are looking to collect points at Hunter Stadium on Sunday to keep their run for finals alive. Aside from a stunning 5-1 loss to Adelaide United a fortnight ago, the Jets have conceded just four goals in their other eight matches.
With only two other matches to play after the completion of the game at Hunter Stadium, both Victory and the Jets also know that a win could be a crucial turning point in the final leg of the season and if Newcastle drops points at home it could spell trouble for their ambitions.
Stand out players of the season so far have been Caprice Dydasco and Chloe Logarzo, the American import from the US Women’s League and the other a former player for Sydney FC. If they both can secure the midfield for the home side, they may be able to keep the tempo of the game in their back pocket and give them chances on goals.
However, finishing chances has been the Jets’ difficulty this season, with the back of the net taunting them in many home games all year long.
A tight 0-0 draw at Magic Park against Canberra United was decided by the missed chances from the Jets’ forwards, and weeks later the match against the undefeated Melbourne City at Hunter Stadium had only one goal between them – a difference that could have changed with more lethality in front of goals.
In round 3 of the Westfield W-League 2015.16 season the Jets won 1-0 at Melbourne Victory in a tight and tough encounter. Therefore we can expect a similarly knife-edge contest to kick-start the New Year.
Deans’ side will need to fire up in front of the net this weekend if they are to take away those vital three points. One thing is for sure at Hunter Stadium – finals are within sight and Newcastle can’t trip up at the final hurdle if they want to reach the elimination rounds.
You can watch all the action Live from 2.00pm nationally on Fox Sports (Channel 505), or ABC TV. Or catch-up on ABC iView.