The two most up and down teams of the A-League will clash at Hunter Stadium this Saturday night. The Newcastle v Sydney fixture usually brings goals, drama and a touch a theatre and with both teams desperate for 3 points, this match is sure to have everything.
Newcastle will be boosted by the return of Joel Griffith and Andrew Hoole from suspension while former Sydney FC star, David Carney could make his debut from the bench. On the downside for the Jets, Kew Jaliens will miss the match through suspension, which should open the door for Taylor Regan.
There is also a selection dilemma up front. Adam Taggart is Newcastle’s form striker and should pair up with Emile Heskey again this weekend. The former English international has declared himself back to full fitness, but Joel Griffith will be knocking on the door. I expect Joel Griffiths will have to wait for his chance and warm a bench seat this weekend. I’m sure he will be used at some stage during the game, possibly towards the back end of the match when the defenders become tired, and if the game is in the balance.
James Virgili played well in last weeks win over Brisbane at Suncorp, but he may have to make way for the returning Andrew Hoole. Personally I think Virgili should stay, why change a winning team, especially a team that defeated competition front-runners Brisbane Roar. Obviously Kew Jaliens is out through suspension, so Taylor Regan is the main candidate to fill the gap left in defence.
If Newcastle can produce an effort like they did against the Roar last week, they should win comfortably, but football is a funny game and when it comes to form, you may as well chuck the form guide away because anything is likely to happen when these two teams meet.