Match preview: Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix
They may be out of finals contention, but Brisbane Roar can still have a huge say on the make-up of the top six when they take on Wellington Phoenix on Friday night.
The Kiwi outfit head to Suncorp Stadium off the back of their disappointing 3-1 loss in Adelaide on Sunday which has them holding on to fourth spot by the skin of their teeth.
Only goal difference separates Mark Rudan’s men from the fifth-placed Reds, with Melbourne City just one point further back.
So nothing but three points will do for Wellington in the opening match of Round 25.
With the Reds taking on City on Saturday, a victory over Roar could prove decisive in Phoenix’s quest for a top-four finish.
While they crushed Brisbane 4-1 in Wellington (see the highlights in the player at the top of the page) in their last meeting back in December, the last two fixtures between the clubs in Brisbane have ended goalless.
But there should be goals in this one – Wellington have not kept a clean sheet in their last eight matches, while Roar have shipped 13 in their last four in front of their home fans.
The end of the season cannot come soon enough for the Roar, who have suffered four straight defeats and remain perilously close to the Hyundai A-League basement.
Key Opta stats
- The most recent Hyundai A-League game between these two clubs was the last in charge of the Roar for John Aloisi, whose tenure ended after Phoenix’s 4-1 win at Westpac Stadium on December 22.
- Roar have suffered four Hyundai A-League defeats in succession; scoring one goal on each of those occasions and conceding 13.
- The Phoenix need four more goals to break their club record for most goals in a Hyundai A-League regular season (45 in 2014/2015).
Ins and outs
Brisbane Roar FC Squad: 1.Brendan WHITE (gk), 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 11.Eric BAUTHEAC, 14.Alex LOPEZ, 15.Stefan NIGRO, 16.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 18.Joe CALETTI, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Tobias MIKKELSEN, 23.Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 26.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 32.Zachary DUNCAN, 34.Aaron REARDON, 36.Daniel LECK, 38.Izaack POWELL, 92.Eli BABALJ **two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY (promoted), 22.Tobias MIKKELSEN (promoted), 34.Aaron REARDON (promoted), 38.Izaack POWELL (promoted)
Outs: 12.Ruon TONGYIK (hamstring), 33.HENRIQUE (groin)
Unavailable: 2.Dane INGHAM (foot), 4.Daniel BOWLES (knee), 10.Brett HOLMAN (knee), 13.Stefan MAUK (groin), 19.Jack HINGERT (knee), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (broken leg)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Filip KURTO (gk), 3. Justin GULLEY, 4.Mandi SOSA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 7.Cillian SHERIDAN, 11.David WILLIAMS, 12.Antony GOLEC, 13.Liberato CACACE, 14.Alex RUFER, 15.Michal KOPZCYNSKI, 17.Callan ELLIOT, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Max BURGESS, 27.Steven TAYLOR, 32. Gianni STENSNESS **two to be omitted**
Ins: 3. Justin GULLEY (returns from injury) 17. Callan ELLIOT (promoted)
Unavailable: 16. Louis FENTON (foot injury - season)
How to watch
Tune in to FOX SPORTS 503 to catch the battle between Roar and Phoenix in Brisbane on Friday, with the match kicking off at 7.50pm (AEST). You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App, or subscribe to Kayo Sports.
CLICK HERE to secure your seat at Suncorp Stadium for this intriguing Friday night football clash.