Source: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
Melbourne Victory will be bidding to end a run of three straight defeats when it welcomes the in-form Newcastle Jets to AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon. The side has failed to win since veteran striker Archie Thompson limped off with a hamstring injury against Adelaide United earlier in the month and his return to the squad will be a big boost for coach Ange Postecoglou.
With Marcos Flores and Gui Finkler still on the sidelines, his return could hardly have been more timely, especially with Kiwi youngster Marco Rojas struggling for form. The 21 year-old has failed to score or provide an assist in his past four outings and will hope that the return of his strike partner will bring about a change of fortunes for him. It is at the back that Melbourne has biggest problems however, having failed to keep a clean sheet since scoring a 1-0 win over Perth Glory on January 19. Things hit rock bottom last week with the side conceding six goals against the Mariners but the Jets will be without their most prolific strikers on Sunday.
Emile Heskey and Michael Bridges have both been rested, while life goes on for Newcastle following the transfer of Ryan Griffiths to Beijing Baxy FC. That trio have scored six of the clubs past eight goals and teenage striker Adam Taggart could burden the responsibility of leading the attack in their absence after opening the scoring in the Jets 2-1 win over Wellington during the week. Experienced defender Zenon Caravella will also miss the trip after injuring his hamstring in New Zealand but Sam Gallaway has been named in the squad.
Newcastle has won 11 of the 23 meetings between these clubs, although Melbourne won the most recent clash between these sides at AAMI Park 3-2 . That result went some way to avenging the Jets 2-1 victory at Hunter Stadium earlier in round four.
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