The Opposition - Newcastle Jets

Sydney FC caught up with Josh Bennett from the Football Sack, to gain an insight the Newcastle Jets.

Sydney FC caught up with Josh Bennett from the Football Sack, to gain an insight the Newcastle Jets.

1) Newcastle have had a recent resurgence, winning three games on the bounce, where did this come from?

The Jets have gradually built confidence since losing to Sydney in round one and have managed to translate this into some positive results in recent weeks. They struggled to score goals early in the season but the excellent goal scoring form of Adam Taggart has helped the Jets in the front third. The inclusion of Andrew Hoole and Josh Brilliante in midfield has added enthusiasm and energy to the Jets lineup and they are reaping the rewards.

2) Emile Heskey has returned to the side recently, how big is his impact on the team?

His inclusion adds confidence to the squad even though he hasn't been starting in recent weeks. Heskey's experience is invaluable with so many young players in the team and provides young gun Adam Taggart with a super mentor.

3) How healthy is the Newcastle squad? Who is likely to miss this week's match?

Promising teenage centre back Connor Chapman is unlikely to play this week and young Mitch Cooper is still recovering from a knee injury. Sam Gallaway is in doubt but is likely to play.

4) Sydney FC won the first encounter between the teams quite easily this season, have Newcastle changed their approach tactically since then?

The Jets started the season with a possession based game plan but have adopted a more pragmatic approach since. The Jets are more content to absorb pressure and hit teams on the counter attack. The Jets will look to press Sydney in some instances but they will pick and choose their moments.

5) Newcastle have struggled away from home, claiming just a solitary victory, what is the reason for their poor away record?

The Jets have had a poor record away from home in recent seasons. It is difficult to pin point their failures away from Hunter Stadium and the coaching staff have been left frustrated trying to do the same. Gary Van Egmond admitted after the loss to Sydney FC in round one that a number of his young players were overawed by the occasion. With so many players under 23 in the squad it is possible the inexperience of the squad can struggle in front of hostile crowds away from home.

6) Adam Taggart is the form striker in the competition, netting six goals, is he the main threat to Sydney this week? Who else will Frank Farina be keeping an eye on?

Taggart is in super form coming off a hat trick last weekend against Melbourne Heart. He is quick, agile and the goals he scored last weekend were top quality, so Sydney will need to be vigilant of the youngster. Andrew Hoole is an unheralded player in the Jets lineup but he has been one of the brights for the side this season. His dynamic running and dribbling ability will cause problems for Sydney and they will need to mark him closely. Emile Heskey will be a handful as always and will attract several of Sydney's defenders to try and keep him contained.

7) Which players will Newcastle be worried about?

Of course Alessandro Del Piero will be a major threat to the Jets and the team are well aware of the danger he possesses. But Richie Garcia has been in terrific form as well for the Sky Blues and the Jets will need to closely mark the former Socceroos midfielder. Joel Chianese was a standout for Sydney in the first encounter between the teams and the youngster will pose a constant threat to the Jets back four with his speed.

8) How do you see the match panning out and who will win?

Tough to split the two in-form teams of the competition so I think it could be a draw, possibly 1-1.

Any views displayed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not represent those of Sydney FC.

SHOW YOUR PASSION THIS SATURDAY: Sydney FC face Newcastle Jets in a replay of the opening round fixture which the Sky Blues convincingly won 2-0. Help the boys make it four wins out of four and get your tickets from Ticketek TODAY Make a day of it!!! Kick off at 7:45pm.