An important match for both Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets on Saturday afternoon at Jubilee Stadium, but for contrasting reasons.
The Sky Blues bounced back from a midweek loss to Perth Glory to down Adelaide United 2-1 on home turf last weekend.
The result kept Head Coach Steve Corica’s troops in third spot, six points behind the leaders Perth and within striking distance of a historic third-straight Premiers’ Plate.
But up the M1 in the Hunter, it’s been tough going for the inconsistent Jets.
While it was a pretty good display against Melbourne Victory last Saturday night, they still came away with nothing as James Troisi’s late goal gave the hosts a 2-1 win.
The problem for Newcastle has been cashing in when dominating an opponent, turning their promising build-up play into goals.
Heading into Round 14, the Jets have scored the equal fewest goals this season (14), the same as bottom club Central Coast Mariners.
They can’t afford to be so profligate against a Sydney FC side that are often ruthless and make their opponents pay for any slip-up.
It was 1-1 in the Hunter when these two met earlier this season and this one should be just as tight.
With a seven-point gap between themselves and the top six heading into Round 14, the Jets will know they will need to start picking up maximum points more consistently…and sooner rather than later.
Key Opta stats
- Sydney FC are undefeated in their last eight home Hyundai A-League games against the Newcastle Jets (W6, D2), keeping six clean sheets in that time.
- Sky Blues skipper Alex Brosque has scored more goals against Newcastle Jets (14) than he has against any other Hyundai A-League opponent, including seven in his last nine games against them.
Ins and outs
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 3. Ben WARLAND, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Daniel DE SILVA, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17. Anthony CACERES, 18.Jacob TRATT, 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 21.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY, 22.Siem DE JONG, 24.Cam DEVLIN, 31.Luke IVANOVIC. **two to be omitted**
Ins: 3. Ben WARLAND (return from injury), 21.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY (promoted), 24.Cam DEVLIN (promoted)
Outs: 6. Josh BRILLANTE (suspended – 1 game)
Unavailable: 5.Jop van der LINDEN (hamstring – 1 weeks), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (ACL – indefinite), 19.Chris ZUVELA (knee – indefinite), 23. Rhyan GRANT (International Duty)
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 9.Roy O¹DONOVAN, 10.Ronald VARGAS, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Nick COWBURN, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY **two to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Ronald VARGAS (return from suspension), 13.Ivan VUJICA (promoted), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS (return from injury)
Outs: 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (groin – 3 weeks)
Be there for big match action and family fun as your Sky Blues welcome the Jets to Kogarah. Secure your seats, get your ticket here.