Preview: Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
This looms as a crucial match for the defending champions, who sunk to the equal worst defeat in their history in their previous match against Melbourne.
Date: Saturday September 13 Kick-off: 7:00pm AEST Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and delayed coverage on Sky Sports 1. To purchase tickets visit www.proticket.com.au
Head-to-head 11 A-League meetings: Newcastle - 2 wins, Sydney - 5 wins, Draws - 4
Previous meeting Sydney FC 0, Newcastle Jets 0, SFS, Round 16, December 2007
Results so far Newcastle: Round 1: Newcastle Jets 1, Central Coast Mariners 1, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 2: Perth Glory 3, Newcastle Jets 3, Members Equity Stadium Round 3: Melbourne Victory 5, Newcastle Jets 0, Telstra Dome
Sydney FC: Round 1: Sydney FC 0. Melbourne Victory 0, Sydney Football Stadium, Round 2: Central Coast Mariners 2, Sydney FC 3, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium Round 3: Sydney FC 5, Perth Glory 2, Sydney Football Stadium
Analysis This looms as a crucial match for the defending champions, who sunk to the equal worst defeat in their history in their previous match against Melbourne. The Jets are winless after three games with coach Gary van Egmond lambasting his troops after their display against the Victory.
After an 'un-Newcastle' effort, van Egmond has had two weeks to get his players' confidence up ahead of a very important clash against a Sydney side which has scored eight goals in its past two matches. Jade North is unlikely to play after suffering a stomach bug when in Tashkent with the Socceroos, while Ante Covic will be back in time.
Adam D'Apuzzo is serving a one-week suspension, but Adam Griffiths returns into a 15-man squad. Shaun Ontong remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
Sydney must be full of confidence after two very impressive wins, including a comprehensive 5-2 victory over a 10-man Perth Glory. John Aloisi is back and fit, Shannon Cole's star continues to rise, while Mark Bridge scored his first goal in the Sky Blues. Evergreen midfielder Steve Corica continues to show his younger team-mates the way.
However, in a massive blow for Sydney, Simon Colosimo is set to miss up to 12 weeks with osteitis pubis, robbing the midfield of one of their most important players. Tony Popovic should be ready to play the full 90 minutes, while Stuart Musialik returns from suspension and Brendon Santalab and Nik Tsattalios come into a 16-man squad.
Sydney boasts a very good record over the Jets, having won two and drawn one last year. Its previous defeat to its northern neighbour was in the 2006/07 minor semi-final which Newcastle won 2-0. Significantly, Newcastle's team for this match is likely to feature just two players who played in that match. Sydney has just four.
Newcastle Jets Squad 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 3. Jade NORTH (c), 5. James HOLLAND, 6. Jesper HAKANSSON, 8. Matt THOMPSON, 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 10. Jin-Hyung SONG, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 15. Jason HOFFMAN, 16. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 18. Noel SPENCER, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 23. Edmundo ZURA.
In. 2. Adam Griffiths. Out. 13. Adam D-Apuzzo (suspended - 1 week). Unavailable. 14 Shaun Ontong (ankle - indefinite).
Sydney FC Squad 1.Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 3. Nikolas TSATTALIOS, 5. Mitchell PRENTICE, 6. Tony POPOVIC (c), 7. Rob MIDDLEBY, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA, 11. Brendon SANTALAB, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 23. John ALOISI, 26. Dez GIRALDI.
*One to be omitted.
In. Nikolas Tsattalios (promoted), Stuart Musialik (return suspension), Brendon Santalab (return injury). Out. Simon Colosimo (groin - 12 weeks), Jacob Timpano (ankle - 5 weeks). Unavailable. Mike Enfield (knee - 2 weeks), Adam Casey (groin - 1 week).