The Fury recorded a stirring come-from-behind win midweek over third-placed Gold Coast United which will give them plenty of confidence heading into tomorrow’s clash with the Jets.
But Newcastle will also be feeling on top of the world after taking down David Beckham and the LA Galaxy. Although it was an exhibition match, the Jets played a solid brand and did what they had to do to show that they can mix it with the best when they put their minds to it.
The loss of captain Ljubo Milicevic and goalkeeper Ben Kennedy will prove hard to cover but the fact the team is going for their longest streak without a loss since 2007 will do plenty for their self-belief.
In the Fury camp, a win is priceless and the thought of getting off the bottom of the table with anything but a loss here will have them in good spirits.
I can see this being a tense affair with neither side really able to gain ascendency in a result that will have no bearing on any activity in the top six.
Verdict: 1-1 draw
North Queensland Fury v Newcastle Jets
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
Date: Saturday, 4 December 2010
Local kick-off: 8.15pm local (9.15pm AEDT)
Referee: Kurt Ams
Head-to-head: All matches (played 3): North Queensland Fury wins 1, Newcastle Jets wins 2 (0 draws)
Match fact: Newcastle Jets are aiming for their fifth consecutive undefeated match in the Hyundai A-League, which would be the club's longest undefeated streak since 2007
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 2 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club partners are Zinc 100.7 (Townsville) and 1233 ABC Newcastle. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
North Queensland Fury squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2. Jack HINGERT, 3. Brad McDONALD, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 7. Gareth EDDS, 8. Adam CASEY, 9. Eugene SSEPPUYA, 10. Dyron DAAL, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS, 13. Andre KILIAN, 15. Chris PAYNE, 16. Simon STOREY, 17. Osama MALIK, 18. Brett STUDMAN, 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO, 23. Lorenzo SIPI, 24. Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLU, 28. Sebastian USAI (gk) *five to be omitted*
In: Brad McDONALD (promoted), Adam CASEY (promoted), Chris Payne (promoted), Brett STUDMAN (promoted), Lorenzo SIPI (promoted),
Unavailable: Eric AKOTO (knee – 2 weeks), Chris GROSSMAN (knee – 2 weeks), Isaka Cernak (knee – awaiting tests), Matthew HAM (knee – out for the season)
Newcastle Jets squad: 40. Matthew Nash (gk), 2. Taylor REGAN, 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR STANLEY, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI 7. Kasey WEHRMAN,10. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE 13. Sasho PETROVSKI, 14. Labinot HALITI, 17. Marcello FIORENTINI, 18. Marko JESIC, 19. Ali ABASS, 21. Brodie MOOY 22. Kaz PATAFTA 24. Francis Jeffers 50. Jack Duncan (GK) 9. Zhang SHUO *three to be omitted*
In: Jack Duncan (NYL), Ruben ZADKOVICH (returns from injury)
Out: Ljubo MILICEVIC (ankle), Ben KENNEDY (GK) (knee - six weeks)
Unavailable: Neil YOUNG (illness – indefinite), Michael Bridges (Knee - six weeks), Jeremy BROCKIE (Broken foot - 6 to 8 weeks), 5. Sean ROONEY (knee-season)