Thursday, 3 September 2009
Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Local kick-off: 7.30pm
Referee: Chris Beath
Matchday Five of the A League begins in Melbourne on Thursday night with 7th placed inconsistent Victory taking on the high flying 3rd ranked Jets.
The Newcastle Jets should get a big thank you from all the other A League teams after ending the Gold Coast United unbeaten 3 game run last week. Melbourne Victory seems to be suffering from the after effects of champion’s syndrome. Will it be a case of success then failure again or is too early to make such a prediction? It’s not a do or die game for the team from Bleak City but another loss and they could be bottom of the table and nine points off the lead if Sydney beat Gold Coast United on Saturday and other results go a certain way..
I wrote off the Jets before the season and tipped them to come somewhere in the bottom four. Proving once again that most of the time, most people don’t know anything, and I’m quite sure of that.
Victory coach Ernie Merrick may move Tom Pondeljak in a more advanced role to cover for the loss of Costa Rican attacking midfielder Carlos Hernandez who is on World Cup duty this weekend. Nick Ward is to come in to the midfield. Ward has been getting splinters on the Melbourne bench during the season so look for the ex QPR player to have an impact if given room.
Victorious Quotes: I'm really glad that at this stage of the season we are playing good football. I think over the course of the season, that's what you rely on, rather than the game against Fury which is all defence, we win the game, but you aren't going to do much in the year if you play like that," said Victory coach Merrick during training this week.
Victorious Form (last four games):
Jets Quotes: “It was terrific,” said an excited Jets Boss Culina speaking after the win over Gold Coast United. “I just briefly looked at some statistics there and they had 59% possession of the ball but I thought the best chances by far fell to us.”
“I was disappointed that we didn’t take one or two others because it was too close for comfort considering the number of chances that we had,” added Culina.
Jets Form (last Four Games):
A Football Story Prediction:
Victory 1 v 2 Jets
Melbourne Victory squad:1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 5.Surat SUKHA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 9.Danny ALLSOPP, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.NEY FABIANO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS (c), 14.Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 17.Matthew FOSCHINI, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Nick WARD, 23.Adrian LEIJER
In: Matthew KEMP (promoted)
Out: Carlos HERNANDEZ (international duty)
Unavailable: Evan BERGER (groin - 3/4 weeks), Kevin MUSCAT (hamstring - 1 week)
Newcastle Jets Squad:1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO, 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 9. Sasho PETROVSKI, 10. Donny DE GROOT, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 15. Sean ROONEY, 16. Jason HOFFMAN, 17. Fabio VIGNAROLI, 19. Jason NAIDOVSKI, 20. Neil YOUNG (gk), 22. Kaz PATAFTA, 24. Chris TRIANTIS, 25. Labinot HALITI
*three to be omitted*
In: Labinot HALITI (new player), Donny DE GROOT (promoted), Chris TRIANTIS (promoted)
Out: Shaun ONTONG (Achilles – indefinite)
Unavailable:6. Ben KANTAROVSKI (ankle – 1/2 weeks), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE (ankle – 2 weeks), Marko JESIC (knee – indefinite)
*Head-to-Head: Played 12: Melbourne Victory wins 3, Newcastle Jets wins 7, Drawn 2)