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Newcastle Jets FC v Melbourne Victory
Round 7 – 5.20pm Friday 16th December at McDonald Jones Stadium
Online: Listen LIVE from 5 pm with Ben Homer and Helene O’Neill
Overall Head to Head:
Newcastle Jets FC 3
Melbourne Victory 9
2016-17 – Round 2: Melbourne Victory 0 Newcastle Jets 4 (Oyster 7’, Gilliland 14’, Stanbury 23’, Kingsley 90+1’) at Lakeside Stadium. Attendance: 270. Referee: Rachael Mitchenson
Where they sit on the Ladder:
Newcastle Jets FC 6th (6pts)
Melbourne Victory 9th (2pts)
Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):
Jets – Lost Sydney 2-1 (h), Lost Canberra 2-5 (a), Won Glory 1-0 (h)
Victory – Drew Wanderers 2-2 (h), Lost Glory 0-2 (h), Lost City 0-3 (a)
After a week off with the bye, the Jets Women are in need of a win to turn around a recent slump in form which has seen them drop from first to sixth in the space of three weeks.
Just a few short weeks ago the Jets were sitting pretty atop the Westfield W-League ladder, with plenty of whispers about the potential for a first finals appearance for the club since their opening season. However, a poor performance in Canberra the week after, followed by a harsh display at home against the Sky Blues, the girls found themselves back in sixth, incredibly, four points adrift of the top four.
History shows that the Jets have struggled against the Victory across the previous eight seasons of Westfield W-League, with just two wins from 12 matches against the Big V. In fact, those two wins have only come in the last two seasons – both 1-0 – at home in the 2014/15 season and away last year.
This season, they crushed Victory 4-0 in front of their home fans in round two, to turn the tide of history around, albeit slightly. Over the last three seasons, the Jets have now won three of the past five meetings between the sides.
For the Victory, not much has gone right for them in 2016. They currently sit at the foot of the Westfield W-League table with two draws and four losses to show from their opening six matches.
Star goalkeeping recruit Bianca Henninger was injured in their demoralising 3-0 defeat in round four at the hands of cross-town rivals Melbourne City and midfielders Melissa Taranto (season) and Selin Kuralay (indefinite) are both sidelined with knee injuries. With the loss of Henninger, Taranto and Kuralay experienced New Zealand international Kirsty Yallop has signed on for the Victory as an injury replacement, in a rare bright spot.
Last weekend, after a run of four successive defeats Melbourne took a point out of Western Sydney Wanderers with a 2-2 draw, giving them some confidence before their trip north.
But, their major concern this season remains their defence. In comparison to all eight other Westfield W-League clubs the Victory’s attack is not all that far off the pace – at least not as much as their defence. In the last two seasons – where Melbourne have spent 16 of 20 weeks at the bottom of the ladder – they have kept just one clean sheet in eighteen matches.
Interestingly enough, that solitary clean sheet was against the Jets in round 12 last season, at McDonald Jones Stadium, in a match the Jets Women desperately needed to win. This weekend looks like it is a much similar storyline.
Key: The Jets Women had plenty of chances to put Sydney to the sword in round five, but could only find the back of the net once. Against the bottom-placed Victory can the home side make their opportunities count?