ALM Preview: Newcastle v City

A busy week of City football will conclude in Newcastle this Sunday afternoon when we face the Jets away from home.

The third of three games in eight days across three countries, Aurelio Vidmar’s side will be desperate for a much-needed three points to kickstart our A-League Men’s campaign.

Here are a few of the major storylines heading into the weekend.

Backing up once again

There’s no denying we haven’t quite seen the results we were hoping to so far on our road trip, but Newcastle provides the perfect opportunity to end it on a high.

We began a week ago in Auckland against Wellington, going down 1-0 in a game we created enough goalscoring chances to walk away with something.

It was then an improved performance across the board in Japan on Wednesday night against a loud Ventforet Kofu crowd.

Callum Talbot found the top corner for his first City goal inside five minutes, but the hosts scored twice before the break, leaving us with plenty of work to do in the second half.

That’s just what we did though – Tolgay Arslan first coolly finishing a spot kick before a fantastic ball from Leo Natel was met by an equally as good Marin Jakolis finish for his first for the club.

The hard work was undone in the final minutes when a defensive lapse saw three points become one and set up a fascinating final Matchday in the AFC Champions League Group Stage.

With Newcastle next on the agenda, we’ll be facing a side equally as hungry for a win as it currently sits on five points from five games.

Will we need to see some squad rotation?

A biproduct of the trip has been little opportunity to train given the hectic travel schedule, meaning its mostly been a focus of recovery for your City boys.

We saw one unforced change midweek with Alessandro Lopane replacing Hamza Sakhi in midfield and there’s certainly a chance we see a few more tweaks on Sunday as a result of fitness.

Image: AFC Champions League

With six players having played the full 180 minutes – and plenty more that aren’t far behind – Vidmar could look to his bench to freshen things up.

City fans watching on back in Melbourne would’ve been delighted to see Mathew Leckie return from a knee injury to get through 20 minutes strongly and will be hoping to see a larger role for our star winger on Sunday.

The likes of Scott Galloway, Terry Antonis, or even young guns Harry Politidis and Jordon Hall will all be looking to impress in the limited training minutes and show they are ready to go if called upon.

Celebrating Curtis

Wednesday night saw a big Club milestone with Curtis Good equalling former Captain and now Assistant Coach, Scott Jamieson on 161 appearances – the most of any player in Club history.

Should he take the pitch on Sunday afternoon in Newcastle, Good will be the outright owner of the record.

First joining Melbourne Heart in 2011 for an one-year stint before returning to the Club as a City player in 2018, Good has been an integral figure in our history-making run of three consecutive Premierships.

He’s not the only one we’ll be celebrating on Sunday either, with Steven Ugarkovic (200), Terry Antonis (150) and Aziz Behich (100) all set to reach A-Leagues appearance milestones of their own.

The watch also heats up on Jamie Maclaren who is a hattrick away from becoming the first player in A-Leagues history to score 150 goals.

Match Details

A-League Men’s: Round 6

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City FC

Sunday 3 November, 5:00pm

McDonald-Jones Stadium

Live on Paramount+