Melbourne Victory on the march towards A-League premiership

THE Premier's Plate appears as though it is Melbourne Victory's to lose ahead of its clash against the last-placed Newcastle at AAMI Park tonight.

The first-placed team (on goal difference over Perth) will then be expected to beat Brisbane twice away (next Wednesday and Saturday), and then the struggling Central Coast in its final regular-season game at home.

The Victory has lost just one of its past seven A-League meetings against the Jets (won three, drawn three and lost one).

The Jets have also not kept a clean sheet in any of their past 13 A-League games against Melbourne - their last coming back in September 2010. And the visitors will be without Ben Kantarovski (groin) and Zenon Caravella (ankle).

In more ominous signs for the Jets, Victory midfielder Carl Valeri (pictured) said he believes his team can improve, after its comprehensive 3-0 win over the fourth-placed Phoenix last Sunday.

"We want to build on what we did against Wellington. There are definitely areas we can work on and improve and maybe get more consistent in others," he said.


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