Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners

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Thomas Broich is one of several players returning for Brisbane. Image courtesy of
Hostilities between Brisbane Roar  and the Central Coast Mariners  will resume on Saturday when the clubs meet at Suncorp Stadium in the first leg of their major semi-final. More couldn’t be at stake, with the winner of the two-legged playoff earning a spot in the A-League grand final.

Brisbane goes into the match with the best form, undefeated in their past eight outings. With nothing at stake in last week’s match against the Gold Coast, Ange Postecoglou had the luxury of resting a host of first team players and his side still managed a 2-1  win. Matt Smith, Mitch Nichols and Thomas Broich are amongst the big names set to return on the weekend.

While the Roar have been flying, Central Coast’s form has been somewhat indifferent in recent times and last week’s 2-1 win over Wellington was their first in six matches.

These clubs have met on three occasions this season with Brisbane winning twice, although the Mariners did secure a 2-1  success here on December 17. These sides played out a 2-2  draw here at the same stage of the competition last season.

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