PREVIEW: Jets take on Sydney in finals race clash

Our Jets are at home again this week as we face Sydney FC in another vital clash on Friday and look to mount a charge towards securing a place in the A-League playoffs.

Our last start saw us return to the winners’ circle with a scintillating 4-nil victory over Wellington at home last Friday.

Sydney also enjoyed a strong victory in their last match ending Western United’s streak with a 3-0 victory and now they sit in fifth place and will prove a challenging matchup for our side.

Currently our side is five points outside of the top six with Friday’s clash and with a select few matches against teams amongst the top six race, a win will go a long way to kick start our charge home.

Here’s the full breakdown of Friday night’s clash:


Date: Friday 25th March 2022

Kick-off: 7:45pm

Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium



Played: 50

Jets: 9

Draws: 12

Sydney: 29

25 IS THE NEW 50

This weekend’s clash will be the 25th game played between the Jets and Sydney at McDonald Jones Stadium where the Jets have been much improved performers of late.

Despite Sydney having the rub over the Jets across A-League history, our team are beginning to even the playing field. Sydney have only managed to win two from their past five matches against Newcastle and haven’t won in Newcastle since January 2020.

The Sky Blues will be the fourth club to reach 25 visits to the Hunter in the A-League, a milestone reached by Adelaide, Brisbane and Central Coast previously.

Over our past 10 encounters, Sydney have recorded victories in four of those matches compared to Newcastle’s three. In recent years, the two sides have been hard to separate and our side will need to dig deep to overthrow Sydney on Friday.


After having much of our season affected by COVID interruptions, our Jets have finally received a run of successive games and a chance to accrue improved consistency.

The four goal demolition of the Phoenix last week set the stage for Friday’s blockbuster clash with Sydney – a game we need to win to help build momentum and climb the table in the closing rounds.

Our team will be looking to win back-to-back matches for the first time in the 2021/22 season and will be confident of doing so based on our previous outing with Sydney back in Round Three.

Sydney FC are fighting for their own spot in the A-League’s playoffs though, and are on a solid run, having won two games on the bounce against Western United and Perth Glory. As it stands, Sydney are seventh in the league for goals scored per match, averaging 1.3 goals per game, our side has the second best record with 1.8 goals per game. The key difference lies with our defence with the Jets conceding 1.8 a game, as opposed to the Sky Blues’ 1.2.


Olivier Boumal (Newcastle Jets)

Not much needs to be said regarding why you should keep an eye on Olivier this weekend after his marvellous performance against Wellington last week.

Our #10 doubled his goals tally last week, scoring a brace against Wellington and came close to a third on a few occasions.

The 32-year-old Cameroonian flexed his fleet-footedness at the weekend, completing 100% of his attempted dribbles on the right flank. He currently boasts a record of 1.8 successful dribbles per match, second only to Daniel Penha with 2.2.

Jets fans could be looking at last week’s performance by Boumal as the match which saw him officially profess his quality, and he’ll be hopeful he can continue his red-hot form into our match with Sydney on Friday night.

Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC)

The studious midfielder is arguably one of the big reasons behind Sydney FC’s success over the years and is a key contributor to their recent run of form.

Ninkovic marked his return to the Starting XI with a strong performance against Western United, scoring a goal and assisting new signing Luciano Narsingh for his first goal in sky blue.

Additionally, the Serbian midfielder has had a goal involvement in three of his last five appearances as a starter for Sydney FC.

The 37-year-old has been lively as ever of late and is proving that age is just a number with plenty of miles clearly still in his legs. Our Jets will need to have their backline locked down to contain the Serbian livewire – a task the team must be up to if we want to compete in the finals this year.


While Sydney FC may have some bragging rights over the Jets when it comes to games won since the inception of the league, the last five matches between the two sides have been decided by just one goal or less, so expect a tight game on Friday.

In the past 10 matches played between the two sides, the largest winning margin was three goals, and there’s been only two games from our previous ten that have been separated by more than one goal.

Newcastle have lost only three matches at McDonald Jones Stadium this season from eight matches, winning four times and drawing once. On the flip side, Sydney have won just four games away from their home ground this season from a total nine matches on the road.

We enter this game with the highest possession stats in the competition, with 57% a game, as opposed to Sydney who sit at 51%.

Daniel Penha requires just two assists to equal the all-time record for most assists in an A-League season.