The first derby of the weekend should be an intriguing one, with both clubs aiming to make it two wins in succession with victory in the F3 showdown
|By WILLIAM VALLELY
Neville, Calvano, Mitchell, Ritter
Zadkovich, Wheelhouse, Goodwin
Virgili, Heskey, Griffiths
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
Bojic, Sainsbury, Zwaanswijk, RoseMcGlinchley, M'gomery, Hutchinson, Rogic
Newcastle and Emile Heskey found some form with a 3-2 win against Sydney FC, while Central Coast played out a hard-fought victory over Perth Glory.
The reunion of old foes Nick Montgomery and Emile Heskey adds extra spice to what promises to be an intriguing battle between the local rivals.
Combative Mariners midfielder Montgomery has encountered former Liverpool and Wigan forward Heskey on three previous occasions while with former club Sheffield United, losing two of the three matches.
In two of those games, Montgomery left the field injured at half-time, and the Mariners will hope history does not repeat itself at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
Central Coast's emerging defensive star Trent Sainsbury, 20, will be tested by the physicality and experience of Heskey on Saturday.
Sainsbury's man-of-the-match performance against Perth Glory last Saturday will give him confidence going into the game, and he will have the experience of central-defensive partner Patrick Zwaanswijk to call on.
The Mariners welcome back creative midfielder Michael McGlinchey after his man-of-the-match performance against for New Zealand against Tahiti in Christchurch on Tuesday.
Having scored a double for the All Whites, McGlinchley will be a welcome relief for a side that has only managed one goal in two games this season.
Mark Birighitti returns to the Jets' squad after serving a one-match suspension for being sent off in Newcastle's 2-0 loss against Adelaide in Week 1. He may replace Ben Kennedy, who is struggling with a knee problem.
Josh Brillante, Connor Chapman, and Adam Taggart return from Young Socceroos duty to complete the squad.
Mariners midfielder Oliver Bozanic is back from injury, while Adam Kwasnik will be hoping to make the final squad.
How Central Coast's defence deal with Heskey and the Jets frontline may well decide the game, but Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond will also be looking for an improvement on his sides' recent defensive displays.
If Newcastle can shore up the back then they have the attacking potency to prevail in what is expected to be a feisty game, with goal-scoring chances likely to be at a premium.