Match preview: Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
Newcastle Jets have one eye on next season as they face off against Sydney FC in this final round Hyundai A-League blockbuster. For the Sky Blues, there is plenty still to play for in 2018/19.
While the Jets can no longer make the Finals Series they are busy planning for the future as coach Ernie Merrick casts his gaze towards next season.
A host of Newcastle's young stars shone last time out against Brisbane Roar as they thumped their opponents 6-1 at Suncorp Stadium.
Winger Joey Champness was particularly impressive, notching two goals and an assist, while Angus Thurgate displayed a maturity beyond his years as he prompted and probed from midfield.
Sydney have already tied up second place, and it will be interesting to see if Steve Corica rests some of his stars ahead of the Finals Series, with the Sky Blues also having to contend with a demanding AFC Champions League campaign.
They fought out a 2-2 draw with star-studded Shanghai SIPG in China on Tuesday night, but after the visit to the Hunter they will have next weekend off to prepare for their semi-final the following week.
The Sky Blues got the better of premiers Perth Glory in Round 26, with Adam Le Fondre's goal enough for a 1-0 win in Kogarah.
Key Opta stats
- Newcastle Jets have only mustered one victory in their last 18 Hyundai A-League matches against Sydney FC (D4 L13).
- Sydney FC have managed to get on the scoresheet in 18 successive Hyundai A-League matches on the road; last failing to do so in January 2018.
- 94.7% of the goals scored by the Jets this season have come from inside the penalty area (36/38); the highest share of any side in the Hyundai A-League.
Ins and outs
Teams will be announced later this week.
How to watch
Grab your tickets to this grudge match here!
Round 27: Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC