Daunting trip for undermanned Jets in top of the table clash. It’s a midweek game between first and second but has there ever been such a fixture that looks so lopsided? And also, has there ever been a more in-form team in the A-League’s history than Sydney FC right now? Here’s Sydney’s last four weeks: defeated Western Sydney 5-0, defeated Melbourne City 3-1, defeated Wellington 4-1, defeated Perth 6-0. Graham Arnold’s men continue to hit new heights. Meanwhile in Newcastle, far from disgraced in its loss to Melbourne Victory last week, the injuries continue to mount up. Nigel Boogaard (concussion), Ben Kantarovski (back) and John Koutroumbis (groin) were the latest to succumb, with neither or the almost fit Daniel Georgievski (knee) any certainty to feature at Allianz Stadium. Ivan Vujica (suspended), Nick Cowburn and Riley McGree (international duty) are also out. This is a free hit for the Jets because few would expect them to win.
3 KEY POINTS
· SYDNEY has scored 18 goals in its past four games and conceded only two in that time. Only Newcastle (30) has scored more in the entire season.
· NEWCASTLE’S 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory last week snapped a three-match winning streak.
· SYDNEY is eight points clear of NEWCASTLE on top of the A-League ladder.
SYDNEY TWO GOOD
· This is the second meeting between these sides this season, with Sydney winning 2-1 at Allianz Stadium on November 18.
· Sydney has won nine games in a row against Newcastle. It is undefeated in 14 games against the Jets dating back to December 22, 2012.
· Sydney has scored exactly two goals in each of its past five matches against the Jets. Four of those games ended 2-0.
· No point overcomplicating this one. How could anyone tip against Sydney in this form? And that’s not before you consider the strain currently on Newcastle’s squad.
SYDNEY / SYDNEY
· The Sky Blues have been running rampant from start to finish of late. Predict they’ll score more goals in the second half than first half but should still be in front at the break.
· How could anyone tip against Bobo scoring the first goal either? The Brazilian has scored hat-tricks in his last two games, taking his tally for the season to 13.
SYDNEY BY 3 GOALS OR MORE
· Considering that Sydney is scoring for fun and Newcastle will struggle to put a team together, add a bit of spice to the game by making the line for this one -2.5. Then watch Sydney pile on the goals to cover the spread.