Moorey's finals previews
Brisbane will be too strong at home, Perth's good form might too much for Heart to handle and, honestly, I think Sydney might just sneak past Wellington.
Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC Sydney have hit a little bit of form coming into the final series, which is something you-d certainly like to have at this point.
The whole feel about that club at the moment, Lavicka coming out all smiles after the last game and the players look relaxed - I'm not saying they-re going to win the Grand Final but I-ve got a feeling they may well edge by Wellington and spoil what should be a special day for Tim Brown as well.
It-s really tough one to call. They-ll have a great crowd over there, and it's Brownie-s last game, which will get even more support and it-s a big occasion. But whether or not all that pressure will tell... We don-t always go out in way we-d like to.
Sydney are going in as underdogs and there-s no real pressure on them. Lavicka might just throw caution to the wind; he-s not going to be here next season, if they weren-t going to progress, he-ll do it in a way to give his team every opportunity.
If Sydney get knocked out it-ll be because Wellington were better on the day, not because of a defensive Sydney.
That said, Wellington have been excellent this season and Ricki Herbert-s done a fantastic job there. Ifill brings a bit of x-factor, Greenacre brings great experience and determination, and Brownie leads by example.
They have a good mix and seem to have been able to put results together, and that was a problem previously. They-re no longer a surprise because they-re doing it consistently. If they have a drop in performance, it-s one or two games and bang, they-re getting results again.
I think this game might come down to a mistake or a set-piece, just something fine that will turn the game - it could easily go either way but I think it may well fall Sydney-s way.
Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners (first leg) When you-re playing two-legged football it-s important to sneak that away goal. Arnie will be as efficient as ever, he knows the way Brisbane will play; he-ll be well-organised and look to hit them on the break.
Brisbane have been consistent after a run that cost them the minor premiership but their back to their best and Ange has had the opportunity to give some players a bit of extra game time in the Asian champions league, despite the heavy schedule.
I think this has all the making of being a very good game. The mariners won-t sit back. Arnie will be approaching the game very carefully and won-t expose himself to a rampant Brisbane to put the game beyond them. He needs it to still be alive for the return leg.
There will be some caution and his main points will be on structure, organisation and staying compact; when they win the ball in good positions, get bodies forward quickly and hit Brisbane on the break, because teams have done that in the past and that is a way to get success against the Roar.
As for Brisbane, they only know one way to play. There'll be no surprises and if they-re on song, and Central Coast don-t bring their A-game, they could be in trouble. I-m pretty sure that won-t be the case. It will be a close game, with Brisbane to win on the night but it will still be alive for the second leg.
Perth Glory v Melbourne Heart I-m struggling to see Perth Glory lift the trophy but they-ve certainly got a chance. Ian Ferguson's done a great job; for somebody that was supposed to be under pressure he-s put in a great effort, and that-s full credit to the team.
It will be interesting to see what level Liam Miller-s at; he-s a very important, clever player. You look at what Broich can do for Brisbane; Miller can do the same job for Perth. And Smeltz will take huge confidence from his four goals in his last game.
Melbourne heart have done fantastic in the couple of season and shown progress to get into the finals, but while the experience does lie with Perth, sometimes that counts for nothing. If you're playing against younger players, they can go into a pressure situation and just don-t feel it.
I believe Perth will win this. Heart have shown they-re a good team for the future but the last result for Perth, with Shane Smeltz scoring goals - that means everything for a striker, he-ll be coming in absolutely flying with confidence.
Heart have got a very nice mix; Goodwin on the left, he looks as if he-s been playing for years; Babalj-s a player I-ve heard lots of things about from very early on, a lot of reports before he burst onto the season and he was always on the radar. I was quite excited to see what he could do and he-s certainly impressed. They-ve got exciting players in Behich, Dugandzic and good mobility.
Fred-s fitness is a slight concern; when he-s involved he adds a lot to their team but he-s struggled with a few niggles and I don-t think he-s been fully fit throughout the season.
He brings a lot of composure and stability to the team but he hasn-t been 100 per cent. He has a positive influence on players around him, particularly with their young players.
Melbourne will be confident because they have had a result over there but Fergie will have his troops round and they-ll be very hard to beat at home.