Squad rotation is on the cards for the Jets and Melbourne City, who will each play their second game in four days when they face off in Newcastle on Monday.
Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City will play their second A-League match in four days when they face off at McDonald Jones Stadium on Monday night.
The Jets travelled back from Brisbane after Friday night's 1-0 loss to the Roar while City stayed in the area after Jamie Maclaren's hat-trick helped them to a 4-2 win over Central Coast in Gosford, 90 minutes south of Newcastle.
City assistant coach Patrick Kisnorbo, standing in for his boss Erick Mombaerts, who elected not to travel to NSW, emphasised the challenges of the tight turnaround forced by efforts to shorten the season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Geographically it helps (staying in the area). Obviously it's a bit difficult in terms of the small squad that you have, to play (in) the next three days," Kisnorbo said.
"But look we'll do our best that we can, try to recover the players as best that we can."
Kisnorbo had emphasised the importance of picking up all three points against the Jets, who he described as a "side that brings some good form".
Second-placed City recorded a clean bill of health from their game, as did the Jets, but Newcastle coach Carl Robinson flagged squad rotation.
Robinson is keen to further assess his squad before season's end, while also insisting he hasn't written off making the finals, despite the Jets sitting six points outside the top six.
"I thought we looked a little bit leggy (against Brisbane) - so certain players, I will rotate, I will bring in a number of players," he said.
"I need to see the players between now and the end of the year without giving up hope of trying to sneak in the back door because there will be teams that drop points, there will be teams that obviously beat each other.
"So we'll keep going, we'll keep playing but we need to improve our quality."
STATS THAT MATTER
* Jamie Maclaren has scored 10 A-League goals against the Jets, his second-most against any team (13 v Western Sydney)
* Melbourne City have won seven of their last 10 A-League games against the Jets (D1, L2), including their last two in a row across which they've outscored the Jets 6-0.
* The first A-League meeting at McDonald Jones Stadium between Newcastle and City ended in a 1-1 draw; however, they have not played out a draw in their clashes since with the Jets picking up eight wins and six losses in that time.
Stats provided by Opta