The big five questions | Round Three

Can the Victory bounce back? Will the Nix stand up to a rampant Roar? Join our editors as they disect the big issues ahead of Round Three.

Can the Victory bounce back? Will the Nix stand up to a rampant Roar? Join our editors as they disect the big issues ahead of Round Three.

1. Can Victory bounce back Being outfought by Melbourne Heart was one thing; being utterly outplayed by Brisbane Roar was another. Now Victory face their other big rivals and Adelaide can sense blood.

You-d expect Victory to be much better this weekend; Ange Postecoglou and Kevin Muscat simply won-t allow their team to open up for the Reds as they did for the Roar. But can they stop it?

The return of Thompson and Milligan will be a big help, but the gaping hole in their midfield has turned Victory-s defence into a shooting gallery, and Adelaide certainly look to be further down the path to being the team their coach wants it to be. There-s not really anything for Postecoglou to lose other than personal pride, but that-s not something anyone enjoys losing.

2. Can the Jets keep it up? Maybe it was the crowd, maybe it was the marquees but the Newcastle Jets were very impressive against Sydney FC last week; mobile, smart and very dangerous. Can they keep up that sort of pressure against their nearest and dearest?

The F3 derby has lost some of its intensity in recent seasons but the quality of football has improved in its place, with both teams now looking to play a modern, possession-based game. The two sides are arguably more similar than ever before: a mostly young, athletic squad built around a few choice experienced individuals.

The Jets also boast one thing the Mariners have never had - a true marquee signing. Emile Heskey looked very potent against Sydney, with his well taken snapped volley, and his teammates certainly looked more comfortable playing into and around the big man. But can they keep it up against a Mariners side much more organised than the Sky Blues?

3. Who wants it more? It-s not a very technical question but you get the feeling this game might just come down to desire, rather than tactics.

Both the Wanderers and Sky Blues are struggling to find their rhythm and trying to make the most of gifted, creative, attacking midfielders and both will be desperate for first blood in what is due to be a hotly contested inaugural Sydney derby.

The 25,000-odd fans at a sold-put Parramatta Stadium might just inspire them to put on the kind of football show Sydney has been waiting for, but in these high intensity games, small mistakes and desire can make the difference. Who wants it more?

4. Is there more to Glory than muscle? They outfought Brisbane Roar in their opening fixture but were well-contained by Graham Arnold-s organised and structured Mariners last weekend. Now Perth have to take on a side that have shown just as much willingness to get tough in the first two weeks as they have.

That-s not an attempt to demean either side; both Glory and Heart are capable of good football but they both enjoy an edge of physicality. Heart were held by an equally well-drilled Wellington side last week, so it will be interesting to note if either side are able to show more different colours to their games.

Glory seem to have the edge but , as hosts, we-re yet to see if they have what it takes to outplay the visitors.

5. Can the Nix stop the flow? Melbourne Victory tried albeit unsuccessfully to stop the flow of Brisbane Roar-s game last weekend, giving up 23 fouls throughout the match, the highest of any team of the season to date, the tactic failed to work with the Roar pumping five past them.

This week Vince Lia has promised that Wellington will get up in the face of the Roar in a bid to shut them down and starve them of the possession they so crave, whether the Nix can effectively do that remains to be seen and may just be key to their success, to beat the Roar Welington will need to also control the bulk of possession, something they have been unable to do in either of their games this season, having just 47 per cent of the ball in each game.

The Phoenix though have a proud record at home and are a strong side, if anyone can shut down the Roar effectively it could be them.