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  • 22 December 2012
  • • 17:30
  • • Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
  • Referee: S. Delovski
  • • Attendance: 17402

A-League preview: Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC

A-League preview: Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC


They may possess the league's biggest names, but both sides are in dire need of points when they meet on Saturday. A loss could prove catastrophic to either's ambitions Indonesia   By GOAL.COM


Neville, Mitchell, Tiago, Ritter
Brillante, Zadkovich, Goodwin
Virgili, Heskey, Griffiths


Ryall, Bosschaart, Griffiths, Fabio
Emerton, Culina, Antonis
Grant, Del Piero, Yau
This game could be labelled as the 'Desperation Cup' given the current predicament of both sides.

The Jets have picked up just one point from their last five matches while the Sky Blues have not been much better, with just a win and draw to show in the same period.

Both clubs come into this one on the back of shattering defeats, are low on confidence and in vital need of the three points.

Jets coach Gary van Egmond has been forced to continually alter his side in recent weeks due to injury and poor form. It would come as no surprise to see him do something similar for this clash, with the likes of Craig Goodwin and Josh Brillante pushing for a starting berth.

The likes of Brazilian attacker Bernardo Ribeiro, defender Taylor Regan and veteran striker Michael Bridges return to the Jets' squad.  Mitchell Oxborrow drops out of the squad altogether after his substitution at half-time in his debut in the loss against Perth Glory last Sunday.

A key reason in the Jets' recent struggles has been their inability to get marquee man Emile Heskey into the game.

The veteran striker was scoring regularly early in the season but has been far too isolated over the last few weeks.

Van Egmond needs to ensure his midfielders and wingers get up alongside Heskey when he receives the ball.

It was working earlier in the season, so there is no reason it cannot again. The sooner they can sort it out the better.

Sydney FC will be sweating on the fitness of marquee man Alessandro Del Piero, who could only come off the bench last week due to hamstring troubles.

If the Italian is fit enough to start, it is expected to be at the expense of Rhyan Grant or Blake Powell. Captain Terry McFlynn is also available again after serving a one-game suspension.

There seemed to be a lack of movement from the front players in their 2-0 city derby defeat to the Western Sydney Wanderers last Saturday, making it extremely difficult for ball-players like Del Piero and Jason Culina to create chances.

While Grant and Powell work extremely hard from the front, they do not have the quality to provide the goals that the Sky Blues need on a regular basis.

Until Farina gets his options right in attack, it will continue to be a long season for Sydney FC.

The last time the teams met the Jets came away with a thrilling 3-2 win in front of more than 35,000 fans at Allianz Stadium, and if there is half as much action and drama in this one then it promises to be one of the games of the season.

While it is vital for both sides to get a win, it is probably more important they do not lose and that could play a significant part in the final result.

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Head To Head

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0 - 2
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2 - 2
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0 - 8
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