Newcastle Jets target their first win since November when they face Central Coast Mariners in the F3 derby to conclude A-League Round 18 action on Sunday.
Jets vs Mariners kicks off at 4.00pm AEDT at McDonald Jones Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports in Australia.
It’s been a nightmare season for the Jets so far, but they have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about snapping a nine-game winless run when they confront the Mariners on Sunday.
Newcastle have struggled in attack all season, but they are boosted by the return of former striker Roy O’Donovan, while his countryman Wes Hoolahan is also in line to make a long-awaited comeback from injury.
Add those two to the likes of Abidel Arroyo and Dimi Petratos, and all of a sudden the Jets have some attacking firepower at their disposal.
The Jets haven’t been too bad this season, but a lack of creativity and killer instinct in front of goal have seen them anchored to the bottom of the ladder for the bulk of the campaign. With the appointment of Welsh coach Carl Robinson, who will take over from Monday, could Newcastle’s fortunes be about to change?
Central Coast aren’t faring much better, with the club currently on a three-match losing streak after going down 3-1 to the Wanderers last week.
That loss left the Mariners eight points adrift of a finals spot and with a huge mountain to climb if they are going to feature in the top six at season’s end.
The Mariners will be confident having won on their last trip to the Hunter in 2018/19, but they’ve never won back-to-back matches at the stadium. Newcastle have looked better over the last month and with some added strike power, this should be the match they snap their winless run.
Newcastle Jets – $1.63
Central Coast Mariners – $4.90
Draw – $4.25
– Jets winless in last nine matches
– Mariners winless in last five away games
– Central Coast haven’t scored in three of those encounters