Corica rules out resting several players

Sydney FC coach Steve Corica won't be resting many players against the Jets this weekend.
Sydney FC coach Steve Corica won't be resting many players against the Jets this weekend.

Sydney FC coach Steve Corica has ruled out making wholesale changes and resting several key players for Saturday's final round A-League clash at Newcastle on Saturday.

Marquee import Siem de Jong and midfielder Anthony Caceres were the only starters from last Tuesday's Asian Champions League game not named in the initial squad for the clash with the Jets.

Sydney are already guaranteed second spot and a break in the first week of finals, irrespective of the outcome at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The Sky Blues have several other outfield players, who have logged considerably more game time than Dutchman de Jong and Caceres.

But eager to maintain momentum, Corica isn't expected to rest the likes of midfielder Brandon O'Neill and striker Adam Le Fondre, both of whom have played every league game, with the latter definitely wanting to play, as he's just two goals behind Wellington's Roy Krishna in the Golden Boot race.

"They are very fit, a lot of those players they want to play, so the majority of them will still play tomorrow," Corica said on Friday.

"We've got a lot of games coming up in this final month or so, so we just want to try and freshen up a few of the players and if they need rest they will have it.

"Otherwise they will just keeping playing because it's good to get momentum leading into the finals.

"But a couple of players do need rest and that's why those two (de Jong and Caceres) are having it."

Captain and striker Alex Brosque (heel) and left back Michael Zullo (hamstring) are both still injured, but are expected to be available for either the next Champions League game or Sydney's first finals game a few days later.

Newcastle are coming off a 6-1 away win over Brisbane and coach Ernie Merrick has close to a full strength squad to choose from.

Central defender Nigel Boogaard and midfielders Ronald Vargas and Matt Ridenton have all been recalled to the squad.

The Jets were very competitive in their two games against Sydney earlier in the season, drawing 1-1 at home and losing 1-0 away.

STATS THAT MATTER

*Sydney have scored in 18 successive A-League away games and haven't been held scoreless in any league match this season.

*Newcastle have won just one of their last 18 A-League matches against Sydney, and only two of their last 17 clashes with the Sky Blues at McDonald Jones Stadium.

*Sydney are the only club not to have had a player sent off in an A-League game this season.

Australian Associated Press