Miron talks up derby

Gold Coast United boss Miron Bleiberg has talked up Saturday's M1 Derby against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium as a night of celebration for football in south east Queensland - but warned his side will do all they can to spoil the occasion.

Gold Coast United boss Miron Bleiberg has talked up Saturday's M1 Derby against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium as a night of celebration for football in south east Queensland - but warned his side will do all they can to spoil the occasion.

Bleiberg was the inaugural coach of the then-Queensland Roar during the foundation years of the Hyundai A-League and after stepping down from his post in 2006, he travelled down the M1 to become a part of another fledgling club on the Glitter Strip.

Full of praise for all that the Roar have accomplished this season - including a record 24-match unbeaten run and their first piece of silverware, the Premiers' Plate, which will be presented to the club at the end of Saturday's match - Bleiberg says football has never been stronger in the region.

"I'm expecting close to 20,000 people and I will be disappointed if it's not, because that was the crowd in the first ever game that Queensland Roar played," Bleiberg said.

"If people that were there love the game in south east Queensland and love the Roar, they can be part of history again and be a part of their first premiership."

"Football in this region has never been in a better situation because you have two teams in the top four, fighting for the championship. I hope people appreciate that. There's no better opportunity for the young generation to tap into one of these two clubs. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to spoil the party tomorrow."

Though any match between such bitter rivals will be heated, this edition of the M1 Derby will have no effect on the ladder, with Adelaide United's 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory on Friday night putting third spot out of reach for Gold Coast and setting them up for a do-or-die first week finals matchup with the Victory.

With United's fate sealed regardless of the result, Bleiberg is expected to wrap his injured stars - including Bruce Djite, Bas van den Brink, Joel Porter, John Curtis and Zenon Caravella - in cotton wool to ensure they are 100 percent fit for finals football.

But the Gold Coast boss insists the match is still a derby and thus anything can happen despite his side's huge injury list and the chasm in quality between the men in orange and United that the table indicates.

"If you look at Brisbane Roar, they have smashed any records in their way and (their record against us) is one of them that they are supposed to smash," he said.

"I accept that and I accept that we are inferior opposition but it's a derby and derbies have their own rules, and they are in our favour. I still believe that we can do the job."

"We now have to fight very, very hard, and it's almost an impossible task to make it to the grand final. But I believe in the boys and we believe in each other and hopefully we can overcome all the obstacles and do it."

"It's mainly a prestige game because they have already achieved what they need to achieve. If both teams play for prestige it will be good football."