Melbourne Victory looks to bounce back when it makes the trip to Newcastle to face the Jets on Saturday.
After back-to-back wins, Victory was downed 3-1 by Sydney FC last time out.
A Besart Berisha penalty – his eighth Hyundai A-League goal of the season – had put Victory ahead before the Sky Blues fought back.
Sitting fourth, Victory will aim to close the gap to the second-placed Jets to five points with a win at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The teams have split their two meetings this season, with Victory winning the most recent encounter in Melbourne.
Victory will be without Jason Geria after the full-back was sent off against Sydney.
However, it may regain Leroy George, who has 11 assists in the league this season but was sidelined in Round 18 due to a hamstring injury.
James Donachie made his Hyundai A-League return last week and also played a half in the Foxtel Y-League as the defender looks to get back to full fitness.
Heading into Round 19, the Jets are winless in two matches after losing to Wellington Phoenix and drawing with City.
Player in focus
What they said
“We’ve ticked all the boxes for that (to possibly start), if that situation occurs, played a few youth games as well, which was good to get the time in the legs. We’ve done everything we can to get the go ahead.” – Victory defender Donachie.
“He (Berisha) is a dangerous player. He may be quiet for 90 minutes of the game and he’ll make sure if the ball is in the box he’ll be on the end of it so you’ve got to be on your toes right until the end, but like I’ve said before, he’s one of many in that team if you’re not on your game and you’re not willing to throw your body on the line, they can punish you.” – Jets defender Nigel Boogaard.
Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Round 13
Melbourne Victory 2-1 Newcastle Jets
Friday, December 29, 2017
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Victory claimed an entertaining win when the teams met late last year.
After Kosta Barbarouses’ opener was cancelled out by Jason Hoffman, Berisha scored what proved to be a 53rd-minute winner before Mark Milligan missed a second-half penalty.
Head to head
Round 13, 2017/18: Victory 2-1 Jets at AAMI Park
Round 8, 2017/18: Jets 4-1 Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium
Round 19, 2016/17: Jets 0-0 Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium
Round 13, 2016/17: Victory 4-2 Jets at Simonds Stadium
Round 8, 2016/17: Victory 2-0 Jets at AAMI Park