A-League fixture 2019-20: Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets team news, Tim Hoogland
Melbourne Victory defender Tim Hoogland is in doubt for tomorrow’s clash with Newcastle Jets, although coach Marco Kurz has no concerns about his team’s A-League momentum failing to carry over into the New Year.
German Hoogland played a key role in his first start in a season ravaged by injury, with his calming influence becoming infectious as Victory produced its best all-round display of the season, with Leigh Broxham relishing his return to midfield.
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However the former Schalke, Fulham and Germany youth defender is understood to have had a setback at training during the week, which leaves him in serious doubt for Sunday’s AAMI Park clash, where Victory is already without suspended captain Ola Toivonen and fellow defender Tommy Deng, who is with the Olyroos for their Tokyo 2020 qualifiers in Thailand.
Kurz believes the break came at an ideal time before they host cellar-dwellers Newcastle and Victory could jump into the top-six with a win, which would be its first back to back triumphs of the season.
“Every team has three byes, we had ours during Christmas. I think it was not too bad for the boys to reload the batteries,” Kurz said.
Socceroo Andrew Nabbout could replace Toivonen as striker against the club where he relaunched his career and propelled him into the 2018 World Cup squad after he was axed by Victory.
“I have huge respect for Newcastle and I’ll keep that in my mind (if I score),” Nabbout said.
“I’ve got to score first and then I’ll worry about my celebration, but a lot of the time when it comes to celebrations I don’t really think, whatever pops into my head I just do.”
Despite Newcastle notching up just two wins this season, Kurz says the Jets — who drew 1-1 with Brisbane last week and are led by former Victory boss Ernie Merrick — are still a dangerous team.
The Jets are still without injured captain Nigel Boogaard.
Originally published as Victory sweats on defender’s fitness for Jets clash