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Australian Football: City out to restore four-point gap

Melbourne City will be out to restore their four-point advantage at the top of the A-League ladder when they take on Newcastle Jets.

City are just one point clear at the top of the pile after Adelaide United beat Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night to close the gap.

However City do have two games in hand so their bid to win the minor premiership is firmly in their own hands. There can be no slip ups though and Newcastle still have a chance to make the top six despite a poor run of form that has seen them slip down the ladder.

The clash at AAMI Park in Melbourne is the only game on Sunday and the last of Matchday 22 so both of these sides know exactly what they need to do.

City are the hot fancies to take all three points, but the Jets cannot be written off and are capable of causing an upset. Let’s take a closer look at both camps with kick-off fast approaching.

What:Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets
Where:AAMI Park, Melbourne
When:16:00 (AEST) Sunday 2nd April 2023
How to watch:Paramount+, 10Bold
Odds:City 1.40, Draw 5.00, Jets 7.00

City need to rediscover top form

Melbourne City’s form has not been great for a few weeks now and that has allowed Adelaide United, who are absolutely flying, to close the gap at the top to one point.

City may have two games in hand but it is points in the bag that count and they need to get all three against the Jets on Sunday afternoon. Just before the international break they were held to a 1-1 draw away at Macarthur and in the game before that only just scraped past a struggling Brisbane Roar side 2-1.

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Adelaide set for Wanderers test

Takeaways from Matchday 21

Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix

We are closing in on finals and City will want the minor premiership in the bag as soon as possible. This time of the season it is all about peaking at just the right time and City need to get on a good run of form and iron out any issues quickly. 

Confidence needs to be sky high heading into finals. City have only scored one goal a game in the last two and the Jets are hardly prolific so under 2.5 goals in the game can be backed at 3.00.

Melbourne will once again be missing Mathew Leckie through a hamstring injury but do have star striker Jamie Maclaren leading the line still.

The Socceroos ace has 18 goals this season and is priced at 1.44 to score at any time on Sunday.

Do or die for Jets finals hopes

If Newcastle want to make the top six and play finals they need to get their act together quickly. They looked nailed on to make it at one point, but no wins in four games have left them off the pace and in need of a winning streak to get them in. 

The good news is they are only three points behind Sydney FC in sixth and Sunday is their game in hand. Admittedly it does not get any harder but being mass underdogs could weigh in their favour.

No-one is expecting them to win and the pressure is off. Scoring goals has been an issue for Newcastle this season. Only Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar have scored less.

Trent Buhagiar grabbed a goal in the 2-2 draw with Perth Glory last start and can be backed at 15.00 to grab the first goal on Sunday.

There are no fresh injury worries for the Jets and they are likely to stick with the same side that drew with Glory.

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