After a disappointing midweek result, our Jets now turn their attention to the first of two games in Melbourne, coming up against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park this Saturday night.
Our side had a night to learn from when they met Melbourne City through the week, but they will have the opportunity to make amends when they travel to face the recent FFA Cup winners.
After playing three games in nine days, the busy schedule continues for the Jets as they play another following a short turnaround. This weekend will mark their fourth match in a fortnight.
It will be the first away game for the Jets since their Round Five clash with Macarthur FC all the way back in mid-December, and will be the team’s first interstate match.
This will be the first of two play back-to-back games in Melbourne with the Jets scheduled to face City again next Friday.
MELBOURNE VICTORY VS NEWCASTLE JETS
Date: Saturday 12 February 2022
Venue: AAMI Park
How to Watch: Paramount+
Our Jets have endured mixed results to restart our campaign after a six-week COVID enforced absence, claiming a gutsy win against Brisbane Roar but also losing to Adelaide United and Melbourne City at home.
Victory on the other hand are fresh from claiming the Cup last week and continues the club’s quick rise after finishing wooden spooners last year. With new coach Tony Popovic now at the helm, they are now currently sitting at fourth spot on the ladder.
The Jets will be confident they are up to the task this weekend however, with history showing this fixture is a hotly contested one. Our team have claimed 18 wins to Victory’s 19 from our 47 meetings in the A-League.
In travelling to face Victory at AAMI Park, the Jets have won just four times from their 14 matches, but took out a victory last time out claiming a 1-0 victory courtesy of a late strike from Angus Thurgate in Round Nine last year.
PLENTY OF FIGHT
Despite our recent result against City, the scoreline doesn’t reflect how hard our side fought in the match, with Manager Arthur Papas commending his players for their effort and ‘never say die’ attitude.
Digging deeper into that match shows the scoreline may not have reflected the performance with the Jets almost sharing equal possession with 49%, firing just one less shot on target with five, and completing 81% of their passes.
Brazilian wonder-kid Daniel Penha is one player the side could look to in order to return into the winners-circle, with the crafty-midfielder sitting as the equal leader for assists in the competition with five assists. Penha is also among the league’s most prolific shooters yielding an average of over four shots a game.
Melbourne Victory aren’t without attacking threats themselves with Marco Rojas sitting as the leader for assists alongside Penha, and combine this with their top goal scorer Nicholas D’Agostino and our opposition have plenty of attacking weapons to match the Jets.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Beqa Mikeltadze (Newcastle Jets)
Our leading goal scorer and golden boot contender Beqa Mikeltadze is having an amazing debut season in Australia.
The Georgian Gun has already quickly begun to border Club records. His sixth goal of the season now see’s him equal the club’s record for most consecutive goal scoring games sitting alongside Joel Griffiths, Adam Taggart and Dimi Petratos with four consecutive games.
Mikeladze will break that record with a goal this weekend and considering his recent strike rate, it’s a possibility fans can easily foresee. Beqa has scored in five of his seven appearances for the club so far, whilst also recording an assist in his man-of-the-match performance against Wellington Phoenix back in Round Four.
The 24-year-old has become a key figure in our attack and has shown he can keep up with some of the top players in Australia, as evidenced by him sharing the highest average of shots on target per game in the league with Jamie Maclaren, with 1.7 shots per game.
D’Agostino has had a strong start to this year’s campaign, with the 23-year-old bagging four goals so far this season closing in on the five he scored last season.
His move to Melbourne in August last year now sees him reunite with coach Popovic, and has seen him win silverware after their recent FFA Cup victory.
Although D’Agostino is Victory’s leading goalscorer, he has only played the one 90 minute game so far this season, showcasing his ability to turn a game from the bench.
D’Agostino will be sure to keep the Newcastle defence guessing with the striker sitting among the most prolific shot takers, averaging the second most shots on target for Victory.
STATS & FACTS
This match-up promises to deliver plenty of entertainment for fans, with both sides sitting in the top three for average goals scored a match. The Jets sit in second with an average of 1.9 goals a match, and Victory just behind with 1.6 goals per match.
Both sides also boast players in the top three for chances created for the league. Victory’s Jake Brimmer leads the league with six big chances created, whilst our Brazilian maestro Daniel Penha sits in second with four big chances created.
Last week’s match against Melbourne City marked the first time the Jets hadn’t held the majority of possession in a match, but our side still has the highest average in the league with over 59%, compared to Victory who have an average of just over 46%.
In our last 10 meetings with Victory, we’ve only managed three wins, and on each of those times saw us keep clean sheets over them.