Newcastle Jets: Andrew Nabbout out to strike in make or break battle with Melbourne City

KEY MAN: Andrew Nabbout rounds Melbourne City keeper Dean Bouzanis in the Jets' 2-1 win in Coffs Harbour in round 17. Picture: Getty Images

KEY MAN: Andrew Nabbout rounds Melbourne City keeper Dean Bouzanis in the Jets' 2-1 win in Coffs Harbour in round 17. Picture: Getty Images

BRUNO Fornaroli and Andrew Nabbout. They have been the story for the opening two encounters between Melbourne City and Newcastle Jets.

Between them, the two have scored all three of their respective teams goals.

Fornaroli, the defending Golden Boot, starred in a 2-1 win over the Jets at AAMI Park in round six.

Nabbout returned serve with a double in the Jets’ 2-1 triumph in Coffs Harbour in round 17.

The teams – and attackers – square off again at AAMI Park on Saturday.

“Teams that I have played well against this season, I find that I go into the next game with a lot more confidence knowing that I have done it before,” said Nabbout, who boasts a career-best eight goals for the campaign. “So there is no reason that I can’t do it again. I did pretty well against Melbourne City last time, we all did to be honest, so we are taking confidence into this game and hopefully we can repeat the result that we got in Coffs (Harbour). The main thing is to do my job and create as many chances as possible.”

City, led by Fornaroli’s 15 goals, have been kept scoreless only once this season.

Skipper Nigel Boogaard returns to heart of the Jets defence, with Johnny Koutroumbis shifting to left back to cover for the suspended Jason Hoffman.

“City went all out attack [in Coffs Harbour] and we are expecting them to do the same,” Nabbout said. “Hopefully we can be as sound defensively as we were in Coffs and catch them on the counter.”

The eighth-placed Jets have had two weeks to prepare for a game midfielder Wayne Brown labelled “make or break”.

“For me it is make or break time,” he said. 

“Tomorrow is a massive game. We lose tomorrow and Western Sydney go and win [against Wellington] that’s six points, with the goal difference, that is seven points with four games left. That is a big margin.”

Brown missed the win over City with a hip flexor injury. 

“They are a bit of a hot and cold team,” Brown said. “They are one of the best teams in the league at keeping the ball. We can’t get frustrated. They are going to have a lot of the ball and we just have to keep our shape and look to counter.”

Meanwhile, the Jets are in talks with former Socceroo Michael Thwaite about joining the club next season and are also understood to be interested in Victory winger Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

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