Hyundai A-League preview: Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
The Sky Blues have proved Newcastle’s bogey team in recent times but something is brewing in the Hunter. Will under Scott Miller's Jets shock the pundits again and make it two-from-two against Arnie’s Sky Blue army?
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 5:15 PM (Local) (5:15 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal
Fourth Official: Ben Williams
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 1233 Newcastle, 702 ABC Sydney & ABC Local Radio NSW, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvSYD
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (c), 6.Cameron WATSON, 7.Enver ALIVODIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 10.LEONARDO, 11.Labinot HALITI, 14.Mitch COOPER, 15.Themba MUATA-MARLOW, 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 23.David CARNEY, 24.Nick COWBURN, 25.Brandon LUNDY, 29.Andrew PAWIAK
**Two to be omitted**
Ins: 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC (promoted), 24.Nick COWBURN (promoted), 25.Brandon LUNDY (promoted), 29.Andrew PAWIAK (promoted)
Outs: 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (suspended – 1 week), 13.Lee KI-JE (virus – 1 week)
Sydney FC Squad: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 3.Alex GERSBACH, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Rob STAMBOLZIEV, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Christopher NAUMOFF, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 18.Matt SIMON, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.George BLACKWOOD, 27.Mickael TAVARES.
**Two to be omitted**
Ins: 11.Christopher NAUMOFF (return from international duty), 6.Robert STAMBOLZIEV (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Andrew HOOLE (suspended – 1 week), 22.Ali ABBAS (knee – indefinite)
Scott Miller’s magic is already appearing to rub off on the Jets. Okay, it’s only been one week but the signs are very encouraging. If they can topple their bogey side in Sydney FC then the doubters should certainly start believing. It won’t be easy though.
The absence of skipper Nigel Boogaard [sent off against Wellington last weekend] is a huge blow and will force a bit of a reshuffle to the Jets’ defence with Ben Kantarovski a potential replacement.
For the Sky Blues, they have a simply sensational record in the Hunter and will be sharper this week after blowing the cobwebs out against Melbourne City in Round 1. Graham Arnold’s side is also on the verge of breaking an A-League record of most unbeaten games on the road.
Predicting a winner in this one is almost impossible and both sides will see this as a match they could – and perhaps should – win in front of what should be a boisterous home crowd.
- Newcastle is winless in their last seven Hyundai A-League matches against Sydney FC (D2 L5), winning three of their previous four before that (W3 L1).
- If Sydney FC avoids defeat against the Jets, they will be unbeaten in their last 16 Hyundai A-League away matches in the regular season, no team in A-League history has achieved such a feat.
- The Jets have failed to win at home in 2015 (D2 L5), only managing to score in one of their last five Hyundai A-League matches at the Hunter Stadium.
- Although the Jets won in round 1, they recorded the lowest possession (37.4 percent), least passes (253) and lowest pass accuracy (63.64 percent) in the Hyundai A-League.
ROUTE TO GOAL
After struggling for goals last season, the Jets grabbed two in round one including one to new import striker Milos Trifunovic.
The Serbian showed what he’s all about with a real poacher’s finish and Miller will hope it’s a sign of things to come.
The combination of David Carney and Ki-Je Lee down the left was a source of much of Newcastle’s good play and looks to have plenty of threat about it. If they can continue in that vein, Sydney’s Seb Ryall is in for a torrid time on Saturday.
Sky Blues new signing Filip Holosko also got off to a scoring start on his debut last week and looks a top player.
He owes a lot for his goal to skipper Alex Brosque who, despite turning 32 this week, looks as quick and fit as ever. Brosque scored twice on his last trip to Hunter Stadium.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Jets coach Scott Miller told supporters at the season launch this week that pundits writing off his team in the off-season was “disrespectful”.
What a great start for Miller and his rejuvenation of the Jets. Not many expected them to get anything from the trip to Wellington but they dug in, battled hard and came away with a well-earned three points. Confidence must be high.
The Sky Blues took a while to get going but were good value for their 1-1 draw with Melbourne City last Saturday night. Only a couple of brilliant saves from City gloveman Thomas Sorensen late-on denied them all three-points.
Sydney is also unbeaten in their last seven clashes against the Jets.
Newcastle Jets 3-2 Sydney FC