Preview: Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC

Let Rivalry Ring In The New Year! Get ready for a gripping local derby at EnergyAustralia Stadium

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC Monday 3 January 2011 5PM

Let Rivalry Ring In The New Year! Get ready for a gripping local derby at EnergyAustralia Stadium, as Jets and Sydney go head-to-head.

If you-d have told Newcastle-s loyal Squadron a few months ago that their club would be coming into 2011 on the back of some exceptional form, having beaten LA Galaxy in front of a full house, and would be one of the teams to fear as the end-of-the-season steadily approaches, they-d have looked at you as if your light had gone out.

Not very long ago at all, Jets would have been happy to have just been able to make it to the New Year. Following a successful takeover, and with the club at the heart of the community like never before, they enter 2011 with the Grand Finals very much in their sights.

Conversely, when Sydney supporters were wildly celebrating their side claiming an incredible double at the end of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season, they could hardly have believed where the team would be as the year came to an end. As their campaign moves into the home straight, they are undoubtedly a very long way from where they really want to be.

However, all the time there are points to play for, there is still plenty of hope this season for a club with the pedigree of Sydney FC. If they can start the year with a win, they will certainly fancy their chances of making it into the top six, especially with playmaker Nicky Carle finally back from a lengthy lay-off. With their experience of the knockout competition, you wouldn-t rule them out of going all the way if they do make it into the Finals mix-up.

Sydney-s season may have felt stale at times, but they-ll see in the New Year with a sizzler of a game. What better way to start 2011 than by fanning the flames of local rivalry? And the F3 derby will have an extra bit of an edge to it this time too, as Jets look to avenge the injustice that cost them a point last time the sides met.

At Sydney Football Stadium, a Bruno Cazarine strike was the difference between the teams, but the goal should never have stood. As Japanese midfielder Hirofumi Moriyasu crossed the ball, it seemed the only people in the ground not to notice it crossing the goal-line were the referee and his assistant.

As Cazarine scored a simple tap-in, Jets- players assumed the goal would be chalked off, yet it stood amid furious protest, and Jets were unable to fight back from this blow with less than 15 minutes to play.

Since then though, Newcastle have grown immeasurably in confidence. With a bolstered squad, they-ll relish the chance to set about Sydney on home soil. If the last F3 derby didn-t quite live up to expectations, then this one is surely set to. And, with plenty of Sky Blue fans making the relatively short trip to the match, they are certainly going to make themselves heard. So it-s up to the Squadron to try to drown them out and sing their side to a victory over their rivals.

It-s all set up to be a belter of a game with a noisy and electric atmosphere in the stands matching the intensity on the field. Which NSW side will prevail? Get along to EnergyAustralia Stadium and be part of a big crowd and a fantastic derby day experience!

Click here to see Newcastle take on Sydney