Besart Berisha is a big chance to score first. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au
Brisbane Roar can avenge its most recent loss when it takes on Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium to open round 11 of the A-League on Friday night. But for a side which has won eight of its 10 outings this season and sits five points clear at the top of the table, the Jets have never been a pushover for Brisbane.
Roar has more losses (10) than wins (9) in 27 encounters against Newcastle. But more alarming, the two-time A-League champions have saluted just twice when hosting the Novacastrians at the Suncorp Stadium fortress. Alternatively, the boys from the Steel City have won seven of 11 in Brisbane.
Brisbane’s last loss was 2-1 Roar away to the Jets a month ago. The ultra-competitive Roar defensive unit, including captain Matt Smith, is desperate to make up for that performance after giving-up two embarrassing goals on a wet Hunter Stadium. Knee injuries have forced key attacking Jets Emile Heskey and Nathan Burns out, but their leading goal-scorer Adam Taggart is a real handful. He was the beneficiary of some sloppy defensive work from Smith and James Donachie in the Round 6 upset.
Taggart has found the net six times this season, the same as Brisbane sharp-shooter Besart Berisha. However, Berisha has scored the opening goal four times from just six starts. Though they were on the road, Roar has posted big victories over Newcastle in the past 5-0 early in 2006 and 3-0 four years ago.
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