Brisbane needs more from its talisman Thomas Broich leading into the finals. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au
Both of these teams are still part of the chasing pack trying to claim one of two finals spots still available, but going on recent form, Brisbane Roar is the only one likely to make any impression on the postseason. Wellington has been nothing short of abysmal on the road of late; a 5-0 caning by Central Coast last week came on the back of a 7-1 pounding by Sydney FC in mid-January. Phoenix has lost five straight away from home, conceding 19 goals in the process while scoring just three.
Despite having two of the best finishers in the A-League in Paul Ifill and Jeremy Brockie, scoring goals has been a major problem of late for the New Zealand side. Ricki Herbert’s outfit has netted multiple goals just once in its past 13 games. Suncorp Stadium isn’t exactly a happy hunting ground for the Kiwis either. They’ve never tasted success there and Phoenix has beaten Brisbane just twice in 16 encounters overall.
Brisbane hardly has runs on the board in terms of late, having lost four of their last six, but it did beat Wellington 2-1 when the teams met in the Queensland capital on New Year’s Day. The defending champion keeps threatening to pull out of what seems to be a season-long slump, but last week’s 2-1 loss to Sydney FC was symptomatic of their campaign – plenty of half-chances created but the finishing just isn’t there.
Wellington may not be Brisbane’s toughest opponent this weekend. Fatigue is more than likely to set in after Roar was forced to travel to Thailand midweek to take on Buriram United for a spot in the Asian Champions League. Brisbane was due to host the match, but opted to move it away from Suncorp Stadium due to the unavailability of Suncorp Stadium. The move backfired with Roar going down on penalties after extra time.
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