Preview: Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC

It’s the battle of New South Wales, as two intrastate rivals scrap desperately for a top six finish

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC Sunday 6th February 5:00pm

It-s the battle of New South Wales, as two intrastate rivals scrap desperately for a top six finish. Be part of a massive F3 derby!

You shouldn-t need much incentive to be revved up for a local derby. They are born of rivalry and intensity and, if they don‘t get your blood pumping, then you probably ought to give up watching football altogether.

So, a battle between Newcastle Jets and their neighbours Sydney FC is always going to be a prospect to get really excited about. This time, there is so much to play for that anticipation is already reaching tipping point.

The reason for this added edge? Well, firstly, Newcastle are still in the hunt for a finals place. Three points are crucial though, as they have a lot to do to make the cut. Secondly, and, quite remarkably, Sydney are also, just about, in the chase too. Surely no-one would have thought that last season-s Champions would be coming up on the rails so quickly as the finish line grows nearer, especially considering that they started their challenge like a three-legged carthorse.

But, with Sydney facing Jets, Phoenix and Heart in their last three games, a hat trick of wins might just achieve the unthinkable. All of which means that this game is set to be one of the most frantic F3 derbies ever, as both teams fight for their chance to grab an unlikely place in the finals.

Further needle comes from the fact that the visitors have already done the double over Newcastle this season. The first of those two defeats came in unbelievably controversial circumstances as, in a scrappy, tense affair, the only goal should never have been allowed to stand.

With 15 minutes to go, Hirofumi Moriyasu crossed from the by-line for Bruno Cazarine to slot home. However, everyone in the ground other than the match officials seemed to notice that it had crossed the dead ball line before the Japanese midfielder pulled it back. Despite furious complaints from the players, the goal was awarded and proved to be decisive.

Sydney will take heart from their previous visit to EnergyAustralia Stadium, when they picked up a 2-1 win that snapped a five-game losing streak and began their current unbeaten run, which stands at five matches. Again it was Moriyasu and Cazarine that caused the pain, scoring a goal each.

They-ll also be boosted by their fine form as the season draws to a close. Their solid 2-0 win in Perth last week meant that, at the final whistle, their slim hopes of a top six finish were still just about alive. Perhaps more realistically, it will give them huge hope of doing well in their Asian Champions League campaign, and they will be fired up to keep this fine series of results going in the build up to the competition, starting with victory in Newcastle this weekend.

Derby battles between Sydney and Newcastle are always tasty so, at this crucial stage of the season, it is set to be epic! Get down to EnergyAustralia Stadium and be part of a massive crowd and an intense atmosphere as these two sides continue their quest to squeeze into the end-of-season shake-up.

There are bound to be heaps of sky blue shirts in the crowd, and they-ll be as noisy as ever, so the Squadron needs to be in their best ever voice in this do-or-die battle. It-s now or never, make some noise!

Click here to see Newcastle take on Sydney