Besart Berisha was one of the goalscorers against Melbourne Heart last weekend. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au
After rollercoaster rides throughout the A-League season, the fate of Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC comes down to this final round, and in particular, 90 minutes of football on Thursday night. As it stands both teams sit inside the top six and depending on results, each side could still qualify for the finals but both could also miss out with Perth and Newcastle lurking just one point behind on the table. The Jets and Glory have home matches, albeit against sides already guaranteed of action in April.
Lucas Neill’s hamstring lasted just one half of football, which came in last weekend’s critical 1-1 draw with Western Sydney which snapped the Wanderers’ 10-match winning streak. Brett Emerton won’t be in the Sky Blues’ team which runs on to Suncorp Stadium as he’s serving a one-match suspension, although skipper Terry McFlynn will be in the team.
Brisbane welcomes back veteran defender Jade North after he sat on the substitutes bench in the Socceroos disappointing 2-2 draw with Oman on Tuesday night. Last season’s strike weapons Besart Berisha and Thomas Broich both got on the scoreboard in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Melbourne Heart and Roar coach Mike Mulvey desperately needs those two to continue firing. Sydney has scored in its past 12 starts so Roar will need to be clinical up front, but the good news for Brisbane is that Frank Farina’s team has conceded a goal in each of its last 11 matches away from home .
Sydney beat Brisbane 2-1 last time the teams met back in early February. Peter Triantis nailed the winner, and it was some sort of payback after Roar spanked the visitors 4-2 when they clashed in the River City earlier in the season. Since that defeat in Sydney, Brisbane has lost just one, and that was a 1-0 defeat in Gosford against second-placed Central Coast.
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