Griffiths brothers set for showdown

Adam and Ryan Griffiths grew up sharing some fierce battles in the family backyard and will now resume hostilities on a far bigger stage.

They grew up sharing some fierce battles in the family backyard and will now resume hostilities on a far bigger stage this weekend.

While Saturday night's Sydney FC-Newcastle match has been hyped for the clash between marquee signings Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey, there's another head-to-head battle that will be just as intriguing.

The highly-anticipated encounter at Allianz Stadium will see Griffiths brothers Adam (Sky Blues) and Ryan (Jets) face off for the first time in the Hyundai A-League.

With Adam at the heart of the Sydney's defence and Ryan part of Newcastle's attack, the pair are almost certain to come together at some stage throughout the 90 minutes.

Asked about the rivalry with his younger brother and those physical matches in the backyard as kids, Adam recalled: "It used to be me and (twin brother) Joel versus Ryan.

"But it's just me now and I'm looking forward to the challenge against Ryan again.

"Obviously there's a few boys I know from the time I was (at Newcastle).

"The town's a really great town and the people and fans really get behind the team.

"I had good times there. I'm just looking forward to playing against them now."

Ryan is one person who knows just how hard it will be for the Jets to breach the Sydney defence and isn't relishing the challenge of re-igniting the old family rivalry.

"I find it hard to play against my brother," the Jets striker said. "It's a lot different to just playing against anyone else.

"I hope he does kick me because it gives me that bit of extra incentive to do well and get over him.

"It's going to be a great game, especially with the crowd they are expecting to get there."

Ryan isn't the only concern for the Sky Blues defence though, with former England international Heskey sure to be a handful after a solid debut in round one.

"He's a big man, we'll have to play well against him and work together as a team," Adam said of Heskey.

"But he's not the only player. They've got some great players as well.

"They have some good young players and a lot of attacking ability.

"We can't just focus on one player but he's someone I'll definitely be keeping my eye out on anyway."

Adam, who was part of the Jets side that won the championship in 2008, was a firm favourite of the Newcastle fans in his two years at the club but isn't likely to get too much support from those same supporters this weekend.

Not that he's too concerned.

"I don't really care much for the Squadron," he said.

"I'm looking forward to playing in front of the Cove and getting a good victory at home.

"We're looking to pushing forward and move on and take some positives from the first game (against Wellington).

"We need to focus on what we can do better because we've got a lot of improvement."

Both sides are coming off disappointing opening-round defeats and will be desperate to register a win in front of what should be a crowd of over 30,000 in Sydney.

Note: this article was amended to reflect the Griffiths brothers playing against each other in an AFC Asian Champions League match in 2009.