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By ESPN Staff

Stiff back rules Emerton out for Sydney FC

Sydney FC will have to beat Newcastle for the first time this season without Brett Emerton after the midfielder was ruled out of Saturday's A-League clash with back tightness.

The Socceroos veteran was officially scratched on Thursday although the club hopes he'll make a quick recovery after scans cleared him of a hamstring tear from last weekend's 3-1 loss to Melbourne Victory.

Yairo Yau will also miss the crucial clash at Hunter Stadium while on international duty for Panama.

One-match suspensions to defenders Fabio and Tiago Calvano are set to clear the way for Adam Griffiths' recall and a first in the competition.

If Adam plays alongside teammate Joel and against younger brother Ryan, it will be the first time three brothers have appeared in the same A-League match.

The match will be an intriguing battle between two of the competition's top strikers, Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey, while the Sky Blues (20 points) can leapfrog fifth-placed Newcastle (22) with a win.

The Jets have won both encounters between the two sides this season, 3-2 in Sydney and 2-1 in Newcastle.

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