Aloisi pledges 'strong' Roar for AFC Champions League qualifier

Brisbane Roar boss John Aloisi will field a strong line-up against Ceres-Negros in order to safeguard against complacency in tonight's AFC Champions League qualifier.

Roar can move within one match of the group stage by defeating the Philippines Football League champions in a one-off encounter at QSAC Stadium.

And the Hyundai A-League side's hopes of advancing will be boosted by the long-awaited return of a key defender.

TEAM NEWS

Despite a busy schedule, which sees Brisbane visit Central Coast Mariners on Saturday, Aloisi revealed there would be few changes from the team that beat Perth Glory 3-2 last Thursday.

"We will play a strong team, one that will play to win the game," he said.

"There may be a few changes, but it will be a similar side to the one that played on Thursday night against Perth."

Veteran defender Jade North is certain to return from a groin injury for his first minutes since November, while Thomas Kristensen is the foreign player squeezed off the roster by the inclusion of Massimo Maccarone, Eric Bautheac and Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

Jade North
Jade North hasn't featured in the Hyundai A-League since Round 5.

TOUGH TEST

Brisbane breezed through Preliminary Round 2 last season with an emphatic 6-0 win over another Filipino outfit, Global Cebu, but the Roar boss expects a greater challenge against Ceres-Negros.

"I watched them play against Shan United last week. They are a well-organised and well-coached side who like to keep possession," Aloisi said.

"They are a decent side and we're expecting a tough game."

QUALIFICATION PATH

The carrot for both teams is a place in the play-off round, where Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian await.

Should Roar reach and prevail in that do-or-die clash, just as they did against Shanghai Shenhua last season, they will have secured a place in the group stage.

Tianjin will host the match next Tuesday evening.