Sydney set to give Gold Coast the Blues

Monday night’s win over rivals Newcastle Jets gave Sydney FC players an extra spring in their step during training this week, as they prepare to snap their winless streak against fourth-placed Gold Coast United at the SFS this Saturday night (7pm kickoff).

Monday night-s win over rivals Newcastle Jets gave Sydney FC players an extra spring in their step during training this week, as they prepare to snap their winless streak against fourth-placed Gold Coast United at the SFS this Saturday night (7pm kick-off).

The Blues have not yet beaten Gold Coast in five A-League encounters, but with Miron Bleiberg-s side missing marquee player Jason Culina for this weekend-s crucial clash, Sydney are salivating at the thought of notching their first victory against the boys from up north to keep their finals hopes alive.

“They have their marquee player away which is nice when an opponent misses their best player. But they are a good side, they are organised,” said Blues defender Stephan Keller during training at the SFS on Thursday.

“For whatever reason last year we were unable to beat them. This year we at least got that draw here (in Sydney) which we should have won, and then we had a bad game against them up on the Gold Coast, so we are looking forward to beating them this time.”

The Blues themselves will also be without several key players, notably strikers Alex Brosque (groin) and Mark Bridge (stomach, groin), while centre-half Hayden Foxe is also sidelined with groin troubles.

Playmaker Nicky Carle and top scorer Bruno Cazarine however continue their return from injury and should start on Saturday, providing coach Viteslav Lavicka with the necessary firepower up front.

“We are still missing key players,” Lavicka lamented during training.

“But we have other players who are hungry to show their quality, like Matty Jurman who showed in the last game against Newcastle. But I trust all the players, I trust the team.”

“Of course Gold Coast are missing their key player in Jason, but they have a good quality squad with good players. I know we haven-t beaten them yet so it-s a big challenge for us to show ourselves and Sydney FC fans that we can win this game,” he said.

Lavicka will also be able to call upon newly-signed Finnish striker Juho Makela, who made his debut in the final 15 minutes of the Jets game on Monday night.

“He came on the park just before the end and did a good job, I was happy. He played actively, had a good opportunity to score and came very close.

“But we must manage him because the temperature in Europe, especially in Finland at the moment, is deeply below zero and he comes here to the hot summer so we must manage him carefully. But he is ready to play,” Lavicka added.

The Blues trained at the SFS on Thursday to a backdrop of cheers from the SCG, where England continues its domination in the cricket - a sport Lavicka admits doesn-t get a lot of attention in the Czech Republic.

“(I-ve watched it) just on TV, not live yet. I-m surprised by how many people come to give their support, it-s a new culture and a new experience for me. Maybe today I will go and have a look, I wish for Australia to beat England!”

The Blues kickoff at 7pm against Gold Coast United this Saturday at the SFS.