Zullo hoping for fruitful festive double

Adelaide United FC defender Michael Zullo is eyeing maximum points as the Reds prepare for a telling two home game stretch over the New Year holiday period, starting with a visit from the Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon.

Adelaide United FC defender Michael Zullo is eyeing maximum points as the Reds prepare for a telling two home game stretch over the New Year holiday period, starting with a visit from the Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon.

Sitting in eighth position at Christmas, the Reds have the chance to rise up the ladder if they can achieve positive results at Coopers Stadium over the Jets and then Sydney FC on January 3.

Traditionally, the first couple of games after Christmas can be a time when teams can get caught off guard, but Zullo says the Reds are ready to pounce with two crucial back to back home games in the space of six days.

“Obviously it-s a bit strange that we-ve played Perth three times and we haven-t played Sydney or Wellington once yet - its just one of the things that happened with the draw this year, but Sydney will be a very big game as is Newcastle,” Zullo said.

“If we can pick up six points in a row that can essentially put us into the top six.”

On top of the incentive to put themselves back in top six contention, there is no doubt the Reds will also be out for some payback after the Jets secured a 2-1 win in Adelaide back in Round 5.

Zullo played the first 64 minutes that day and is expecting the Jets to again prove an extremely stern test, particularly with star striker Emile Heskey and attacking midfielder, former Red Nathan Burns, declared fit for the clash.

But while that previous performance against the Jets was arguably one of the Reds- most lacklustre of the season, Zullo has been part of a defence that is coming off of two clean sheets, while all over the park United is starting to find its groove under Coach Josep Gombau-s style.

“Newcastle the last time at home was a tough game. They-re always a tough team to play, very tough to break down,” Zullo said.

“The last couple of weeks I think we-ve got the balance right in terms of when to play and when to go long, and I think this week (in order to win) we have to first of all defend well and then hopefully take our chances.”

At this time last year Zullo was enjoying a breather in games as part of the winter break in the Dutch Eredivisie, but tomorrow he will run out on a pleasant summer-s afternoon for the Reds as part of the Hyundai A-League-s Summer of Football, something he is excited about being involved in.

“It-s a little but different but we-ve only played 11 games, whereas in Europe I think they-ve played 17 or 18 games,” Zullo said on the contrast of playing through the festive period.

“I enjoy playing over the festive period. Everyone hasn-t got a lot to do so they can get out to the games and support us and I-m looking forward to it.”

Kick-Off is at 4.30pm ACDT and tickets are available through Ticketek.

Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season - Round 12 Adelaide United FC v Newcastle Jets Sunday, 29 December 2013 Coopers Stadium, Adelaide Kick-off: 4:30pm ACDT (5:00pm AEDT) Referee: Chris Beath

TV: Live on FOX Sports 1HD Radio: Coverage online at www.abc.net.au/grandstand Twitter: http://twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash-tag #ADLvNEW)

Adelaide United Squad: Adelaide United Squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Jon McKAIN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.JERONIMO, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 13.Steven LUSTICA, 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Daniel BOWLES, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Michael ZULLO, 19.Jake BARKER-DAISH, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH (one to be omitted)

Ins: 16.Daniel BOWLES (promoted) Outs: Nil Unavailable:6.CASSIO (hamstring tendon - 4 weeks), 22.Fabio FERREIRA (adductor - 1 week)

Newcastle Jets Squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3.Taylor REGAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Zenon CARAVELLA, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 9.Emile HESKEY, 10.Nathan BURNS, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 14.Josh MITCHELL, 15.Josh BRILLANTE, 16.Jacob PEPPER, 18.James BROWN, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 21.Sam GALLAWAY,22. Adam TAGGART

Ins: 9.Emile HESKEY (returns from injury), 10.Nathan BURNS (returns from injury), 14.Josh MITCHELL (promoted) Outs: 13.Joseph GIBBS, 24.Mitchell OXBORROW Unavailable: 4.Kew JALIENS (hamstring tightness)

Adelaide United vs. Newcastle Jets - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 26 - 10 wins, 8 draws, 8 losses

9-Nov-2013… L 1-2… 2013/14 Rd 5 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 15-Mar-2013… D 1-1… 2012/13 Wk 25 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 5-Jan-2013… D 0-0… 2012/13 Wk 15 (Hunter Stadium) 7-Oct-2012… W 2-0… 2012/13 Wk 1 (Hunter Stadium) 24-Feb-2012… L 0-1… 2011/12 Wk 21 (Hunter Stadium) 25-Jan-2012… D 1-1… 2011/12 MW (Carrington Park, Bathurst) 25-Nov-2011… D 0-0… 2011/12 Wk 8 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 13-Nov-2010… L 1-3… 2010/11 Wk 14 (Hunter Stadium) 11-Sep-2010… W 2-1… 2010/11 Wk 6 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 6-Aug-2010… D 0-0… 2010/11 Wk 1 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 12-Feb-2010… W 2-1… 2009/10 Rd 27 (Hunter Stadium) 4-Dec-2009… L 0-2… 2009/10 Rd 17 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 5-Oct-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 9 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 9-Jan-2009… W 2-0… 2008/09 Rd 19 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 30-Nov-2008… D 1-1… 2008/09 Rd 13 (Hunter Stadium) 27-Sep-2008… W 2-0… 2008/09 Rd6 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 4-Jan-2008… L 1-2… 2007/08 Rd19 (Hunter Stadium) 18-Nov-2007… D 1-1… 2007/08 Rd13 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 15-Sep-2007… L 0-1… 2007/08 Rd4 (Hunter Stadium) 11-Feb-2007… W 1-1 (won 4-3 on penalties)… 2006/07 Preliminary Final (Hindmarsh Stadium) 15-Dec-2006… W 3-2… 2006/07 Rd17 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 27-Oct-2006… L 1-2… 2006/07 Rd10 (Hunter Stadium) 8-Sep-2006… W 5-1… 2006/07 Rd3 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 2-Dec-2005… W 2-1… 2005/06 Rd 15 (Hunter Stadium) 14-Oct-2005… L 2-4… 2005/06 Rd 8 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 26-Aug-2005… W 1-0… 2005/06 Rd 1 (Hunter Stadium)

At Hindmarsh Stadium Played 14; Adelaide United 6, Newcastle Jets 3, Draws 5

At Hunter Stadium Played 11; Adelaide United 4, Newcastle Jets 5, Draws 2

At Carrington Park, Bathurst Played 1; Adelaide United 0, Newcastle Jets 0, Draws 1

Last time they met 9-Nov-2013 Rd 5, Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide United 1 (Ferreira 71-) Newcastle Jets 2 (Jaliens 41-, Taggart 52-)