Ryan Griffiths is confident his teammates can limit the impact of his brother Joel when the Jets take on Sydney FC on Saturday.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets forward Ryan Griffiths is confident his teammates can limit the impact of his brother Joel when the Jets take on Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.
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Joel has scored two goals in two games since joining the Sky Blues in the January transfer window, but Ryan said the Jets are determined to ensure his brother-s return to Hunter Stadium isn-t a triumphant one.
“He-s a difficult player to mark and he makes good runs,” Griffiths said.
“I-ve played with him before so I-ll be able to provide some inside knowledge to our boys at the back and hopefully that will help us limit his chances to score.”
The Jets have had the better of Sydney FC so far this season, winning the first encounter 3-2 in front of 35,419 fans at Allianz Stadium, before once again securing all three points with a 2-1 victory in Round 12 at Hunter Stadium.
Former England international Emile Heskey scored for Newcastle in both of those matches and the Jets will be hoping for a repeat performance this Saturday.
However, despite the Jets- positive record against the Sky Blues, Griffiths said he expected another tough encounter on Saturday given the star power Sydney possess in their squad.
“We-ve done well against Sydney this year, but this one is going to be a difficult game,” Griffiths said.
“They-ve got a lot of players that have come into their team and given them a boost.
“Joel has done well since signing, Culina is back to fitness, Del Piero is in good form and Emerton has benefitted from having these quality players around him.
“It-s going to be a an even bigger challenge than it was the first two times we played them and Sydney will be desperate for the three points.”
Adding to the already huge appeal of the match is the sheer importance the contest will have in determining the make up of the A-League top six.
The Jets are currently in fifth place on 22 points, while Sydney are just two points behind them in eighth.
“I think any game against a team that is competing with us for the top six is like a six-pointer,” Griffiths said.
“We really need to take it to Sydney and make sure they don-t stop us achieving that goal of making the finals.
“We got a result over in Wellington, which we haven-t done in a while and that shows the desire of the team and gives us confidence for this weekend.”
With the battle between Ryan and his brothers Joel and Adam sure to be a major focal point of the match, the Jets are giving their Members and fans the chance to show their support for the right Griffiths brother at Saturday-s game.
Free Kloster Group Ryan Griffiths cardboard facemasks will be available at the match for all Jets fans.
“I apologise if the picture on the facemasks is a bit intimidating, but the more banter our fans give Joel and Adam, the better!” Griffiths said.
“I think it should be a good turnout with both teams desperate for points.
“The football we-ve been playing in the last few weeks has been good so hopefully we can continue that for our Members and supporters.”
Jets fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early to secure the best seats for Saturday-s blockbuster clash.
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC Saturday, February 2 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets from PROticket
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