Finals say: Will the week off stall the Wanderers?

Will a week without football trip up Western Sydney or are Tony Popovic's troops too well prepared to lose their heads now?

Brisbane Roar have never beaten Western Sydney Wanderers and in many ways their loss to the competition new boys back in round four was the start of a significant downward spiral for the defending champions.

They would then go on to lose five of their following 10 matches as they struggled to stay relevant in season 2012/13, for them a win over the Wanderers in the finals would represent redemption.

Western Sydney, though, are on their own mission, striving to make more history in their debut season after already taking out the Premier-s Plate - not that their opponents care and Brisbane-s own history is arguably more notable.

Western Sydney may have gone 12 matches unbeaten but as far as the Roar are concerned, that means nothing. They once went 36 games straight without a loss, know how to play finals football and are the only club to win back-to-back premierships and keep in mind they are still chasing history as they look for trifecta of titles in as many years. All in all it makes this match very interesting indeed.

Yes, the week off will hurt Western Sydney It-s nothing more than a feeling but with no football to play and a week to simply watch Brisbane dismantle their first finals opponent in Adelaide United the Wanderers have to go into this match with some trepidation.

Sure Brisbane have been their bunnies all year long; but this is a different Brisbane Roar, bursting into full stride and history has shown that is a dangerous proposition.

Brisbane know how to play the big games and while the Wanderers due to their intense training regime will not be underdone, they might just be undone after coming off the one-week break.

Sporting history in this country is littered with teams who had a break and then failed during a grand final or in the Preliminary final after a fairly dominant season. A-League examples include the 2008 mariners, 2010 Melbourne Victory, while the NRL has seen the 2011 Melbourne Storm dominate only to fall after a week off and the 2010 Gold Coast Titans suffer the same fate.

The break week isn-t always good and for the Wanderers, there has been no football and a couple of off-field distractions that may hurt them, not to mention the fact they will be presented with the Premiers- Plate pre-game, that in itself could prove a huge distraction when it comes to switching on for this one.

No, a week off won't affect the Wanderers Structure, discipline, belief - can you count how many times you-ve heard these words in relation to the Wanderers this season?

The history making season in Parramatta has been built on Tony Popovic-s ability to imbue his team with these traits - just the sort of traits that count most at this stage of the season. A week off clearly isn-t ideal but it-s not like Popovic is about to let his troops lessen their intensity or even take a breath.

The Premiership is in the bag but the Wanderers haven-t got their hands on it yet - and before they even kick a ball in this semi-final they will be presented with a trophy. How-s that for motivation? How-s that for a psychological edge over the opposition?

The week off means little in football, unless you count having more time to recover and prepare. Without it, marquee man Shinji Ono would have definitely been ruled out. As it is, Western Sydney have been able to recuperate while all their rivals have been coping with extra-time, bruising knockout games or international travel.

Expect the same from the Wanderers as we-ve had all season: structure, discipline, belief - all backed up by the raucous noise of a sold out Parramatta Stadium.

Expect the Wanderers to come out, just as they have every other game this season - ready to make it their own.