Besart Berisha hasn't scored in his past four starts. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au/Getty Images
Football followers have been waiting all season for the real Brisbane Roar to stand up. This weekend, it’s now or never for the two-time reigning champion. Beat Melbourne Heart at Suncorp Stadium and the ball is in Roar’s court, as to whether they make the finals. Lose or draw and their fate is in the hands of the Newcastle Jets, a side currently sitting two points above them on the table.
Brisbane’s attack is in the midst of a famine, which is surprising for a team which has weaponry like Besart Berisha up front and Thomas Broich pulling the strings in the midfield. Roar has scored just two goals in its last four A-League clashes. Only the slightly more anaemic Perth Glory has put less balls in the back of the net this season. Draws probably won’t be good enough from here on in for Brisbane, so Mike Mulvey’s side had better rediscover its killer instinct very quickly.
Not since the start of December has Melbourne Heart even managed to pinch a point on the road. A run of seven straight defeats away from AAMI Park has left them with little chance of making the top six.
Roar has been rock solid at the back but Jade North has been lost to the Socceroo squad, although the experienced Matt Jurman should slot in to the starting XI. Veteran Heart defender Simon Colosimo will miss the game through suspension while young winger Mate Dugandzic is the only other squad member unavailable due to his season-ending foot injury.
Heart has won both of its encounters this season against Roar, including their last match-up 3-2 in Melbourne in early January. They drew 1-1 last time they visited Brisbane and collected the three points with a 2-1 win at the end of 2011.
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