Preview: Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets
At the start of the season this was shaping up as the final-round barnstormer to finish off the year but there will still be plenty of pride at stake in the extended F3 Derby, despite both sides being out of finals' contention.
Date: Sunday January 25 Kick-off: 5:00pm AEDT Venue: Sydney Football Stadium,
TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and delayed coverage on Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is 1233 ABC Newcastle. To purchase tickets visit www.premier.ticketek.com.au
Head-to-head 13 Hyundai A-League meetings: Sydney FC - 6 wins, Newcastle Jets 2 wins, Draws - 5.
Previous meeting Newcastle Jets 1, Sydney FC 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium, Round 14, December 2008
Past Five Games Sydney FC: Round 16: Sydney FC 2, Perth Glory 3, Sydney Football Stadium Round 17: Melbourne Victory 3, Sydney FC 2, Telstra Dome Round 18: Adelaide United 2, Sydney FC 0. Adelaide Oval Round 19: Sydney FC 1, Wellington Phoenix 0, Sydney Football Stadium Round 20: Queensland Roar 3, Sydney FC 1, Suncorp Stadium
Newcastle: Round 16: Newcastle Jets 4, Melbourne Victory 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 17: Newcastle Jets 1, Central Coast Mariners 2, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 18: Wellington Phoenix 3, Newcastle Jets 0, Westpac Stadium Round 19: Adelaide United 2, Newcastle Jets 0, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 20: Newcastle Jets 2, Perth Glory 1, Energy Australia Stadium
Analysis At the start of the season this was shaping up as the final-round barnstormer to finish off the year but there will still be plenty of pride at stake in the extended F3 Derby, despite both sides being out of finals' contention.
Sydney's hopes of reaching the finals for a fourth straight season may have slipped away after last weekend's 3-1 loss to Queensland, but there's still been plenty of positives from a disappointing campaign, particularly the form of the young players to have emerged from its all-conquering National Youth League side.
Brendan Gan already has two goals to his name and has become a permanent fixture in the Sydney side, scoring a sensational goal against Melbourne just after Christmas, while Kofi Danning just can't stop scoring, the 17-year-old having found his name on the scoresheet in both the matches he's played so far. Two other National Youth League products in Adam Casey and Matthew Jurman have also been promoted to the seniors for this weekend, while Zach Cairncross is out after being suspended.
Shannon Cole is another young Sydney star of the future and his return from injury will be a massive boost to John Kosmina's side as his penetrating free kicks are a particularly dangerous weapon. Indeed, so good has Cole's form been that he's been rewarded with a place in Pim Verbeek's squad for the upcoming clash between the Socceroos and Indonesia on January 28th.
For last season's championship side Newcastle, its been a particularly harsh fall from grace as the club's faced a terrible run with luck and injuries to key players like last season's Golden Boot winner Joel Griffiths, who will sit out the final match through injury.
But the Jets are going into this match with some quality inclusions in Adam Griffiths (return from suspension) and James Virgili (return from injury), although Jobe Wheelhouse won't play after being suspended himself. Newcastle is also going into the encounter with some form, having beaten an undermanned Perth Glory side 2-1 last weekend, with coach Gary van Egmond certain to be looking at finishing the season off with two victories, laying a platform for an assault on the Asian Champions League.
All the positives in the world however, cannot disguise the fact these two sides have performed below expectation this season. But with the enthusiasm of plenty of youngsters out on the park, and with a good deal of pride at stake, the final F3 Derby of the season could still be the most memorable.
Sydney FC Squad. 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 7. Robbie MIDDLEBY, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA(c), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry McFLYNN, 16. Chris PAYNE, 18. Adam CASEY, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 27. Matthew JURMAN, 32. Brendan GAN, 34. Rhyan GRANT, 35. Kofi DANNING. *Two to be omitted.
In. 12. Shannon COLE (return injury), 18. Adam CASEY (promoted), 27. Matthew JURMAN (promoted). Out. 36. Zach CAIRNCROSS (Suspended - 2 weeks). Unavailable. 22.Mike ENFIELD (knee - indefinite), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder - 2 weeks).
Newcastle Jets Squad. 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 7. Kaz PATAFTA, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 10. Jin-Hyung SONG, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 13. Adam D-APUZZO, 16. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 17. Antun KOVACIC, 26. Mark MILLIGAN, 27. Jesse PINTO, 28. Jarrad ROSS, 30. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 31. James VIRGILI, 32. Brodie MOOY, 33. Taylor REGAN. *one to be omitted.
In. 2. Adam Griffiths (returns from suspension), 31. James Virgili (returns from national team duties) Out. 12. Jobe Wheelhouse (suspended) Unavailable. 15. Jason Hoffman (knee - season),18. Noel Spencer (ankle - season), 20. Ben Kennedy (ankle - season), 19. Jason Naidovski (knee - season), 24. Marko Jesic (knee - season), 29. Sean Rooney (hand - season).