Hyundai A-League preview: Victory v Jets

Hyundai A-League football comes to Geelong for just the third time with Victory looking to continue their winning run against a Jets side who have surprised many with their recent consistency.




Monday, 2 January 2017

Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets

Simonds Stadium, Geelong

Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis

Assistant Referee 2: Luke Brennan

Fourth Official: Shaun Evans

Besart Berisha and Fahid Ben Khalfallah celebrate Victory's opener at AAMI Park.

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne, 1233 ABC Newcastle, ABC Local Radio Vic, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, 1116 SEN (Melbourne)

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MVCvNEW

To purchase tickets visit

Melbourne Victory Squad: 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Marco ROJAS, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Max BEISTER, 10.James TROISI, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Alan BARO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.James DONACHIE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 23.Jai INGHAM, 40.Matt ACTON (gk)

** two to be omitted**

Ins: 11.Mitch AUSTIN (promoted), 16.Rashid MAHAZI (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 27.Alastair BRAY (gk) (shoulder – 3-4 months)

Aleksandr Kokko will undergo surgery on a broken jaw.

Newcastle Jets Squad: 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (C), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Aleksandr KOKKO, 10.Wayne BROWN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nicholas COWBURN, 18.MA Leilei, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 28.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 30.Pierce CLARK (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 9.Aleksandr KOKKO (promoted), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 1.Ben KENNEDY (Gk) (achilles – season), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee – 2-4 weeks), 21.Daniel ALESSI (knee – season) 


Against most expectations, the Jets have spent the past fortnight in the top half of the table.

They’ve collected seven of the last nine available points and arguably did enough against Phoenix on Boxing Day to win a third match on the bounce.

Following a horror run of five losses in six games, coach Mark Jones has instilled a previously absent determination and steel into his side, who are now defying pre-season predictions and targeting a finals finish for the first time since 2009/10.

Victory will provide a stern test of the Jets’ ability and resilience though and look every inch a title challenger once more.

They’ve won their last three games – and five of their last six – to push up to second on the ladder and they boast an evenly-balanced and – importantly – deep squad of high quality players.

Victory still bullishly believe they can catch Sydney FC and with two “Big Blues” still to be played (the one on Australia Day should be a belter) it’s certainly not out of the question, even given the Sky Blues’ imperious form.

First though, Kevin Muscat’s men must negotiate a Newcastle side very much on the up. The Geelong faithful should be in for a rugged but entertaining New Year’s tussle.



  • Victory are undefeated in their last three encounters with Newcastle Jets (W2, D1), keeping two clean sheets in the process. 
  • There have been just eight goals scored in the last six games between these teams and only one goal in the opening half of those matches.
  • Victory are currently unbeaten in six games (W5 D1). 
  • The Big V have won every one of their eight games played on a Monday across A-League history, outscoring their opposition 11-1 across the last three such fixtures. 
  • In stark contrast, Newcastle Jets have never won from their nine Monday fixtures in A-League history (D3, L6), conceding multiple goals on all but one occasion


The Jets have found their goalscoring mojo recently, netting six times in their last three games, having scored just twice in their previous six outings.

Andrew Nabbout was excellent in the Boxing Day draw with Phoenix, his mazy run and finish to secure a point for the Jets testimony to his precocious ability.

Jets players celebrate Andrew Nabbout's goal against Wellington Phoenix on Boxing Day.

Andrew Hoole also scored against Wellington and along with experienced Dane Morten Nordstrand, looks set to benefit from Nabbout’s trickery.

Victory marksman Besart Berisha has put paid to any thoughts of a supposed drought with five goals in his last four games, including a sublime hat-trick against Western Sydney three weeks ago.

The prolific Albanian has profited most from the return of the mercurial maestro Marco Rojas and their combination of goals and assists is the envy of every other A-League outfit. 

The “Kiwi Messi” took his own tally to eight goals with a brace against the Mariners on Wednesday.


James Troisi, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Oliver Bozanic provide midfield thrust, while German striker Maximilian Beister and youngster Jai Ingham continue to wait for opportunities from the bench.

Kevin Muscat is quite simply spoilt for choice.


It looked as though Besart Berisha had finally wrested the all-time A-League goalscoring record from Archie Thompson on Wednesday night, before a closer look showed Victory’s first goal came off Mariners defender Jake McGing. Thompson played along from his vantage point high in the stands at AAMI Park.

FORM GUIDE (last five games)

Melbourne Victory: WDWWW

Newcastle Jets: LLWWD


Melbourne Victory 3 Newcastle Jets 1