It’s just as likely that Michael Valkanis will be telling his troops to keep a close check on Andrew Nabbout on Saturday evening as it is that Mark Jones will be instructing his men to mark Uruguayan ace Bruno Fornaroli fiercely.
After all, only two players have managed to find the back of the net in matchups between the Jets and City this campaign – Nabbout & Fornaroli.
Fornaroli, nicknamed ‘El Tuna’, netted a brace in City’s 2-1 win over the Jets at AAMI Park in round six, before claiming a consolation goal for his side from the penalty spot in Coffs Harbour in round 17.
For his part, Nabbout bagged a double in the Club’s Coffs conquer of City, and scored Newcastle’s solitary strike – his first in the Hyundai A-League for the men from the Hunter – in his home city of Melbourne in round six.
Given he’s scored three of his eight goals this campaign against the Melburnians it’s no coincidence that Nabbout is going into round 23 full of confidence.
“Teams that I have played well against this season, I find that I go into the next game with a lot more confidence knowing that I have done it before,” Nabbout told local press on Friday. “So there is no reason that I can’t do it again.”
“I did pretty well against Melbourne City last time, we all did to be honest, so we are taking confidence into this game and hopefully we can repeat the result that we got in Coffs (Harbour).”
“The main thing (for me) is to go out there and do my job and try to create as many opportunities as possible,” he said.
Nabbout expects that City – who have only been kept scoreless once this season – will maintain their attacking approach against the Jets this weekend.
If they do the former Negeri Sembilan gun believes Newcastle possess the firepower and finesse to breach their backline on the break.
“They (Melbourne City) went all out attack (in Coffs Harbour) and we are expecting them to do the same,” he explained.
“Hopefully we can be as sound defensively as we were in Coffs and catch them on the counter.”
“We have got players in our front third and middle third that can expose them in behind, so hopefully we can repeat that result that we got in Coffs.”
“They are regarded as one of the best teams in the league so to put in a performance like we did in Coffs against them is a massive confidence boost for us going into this game,” he said.
Kick-off on Saturday night is at 7:50pm, and the match will be beamed LIVE around the nation on FOX SPORTS 505.