The Jets’ away form has been woeful this season which won’t fill their fans with any great confidence going into this clash.
Date: Saturday, January 28 Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT, 6.45pm local Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Head-to-head Played 20: Wins: Brisbane 7, Newcastle 7, Draws: 6
Previous encounter Newcastle 1, Brisbane 2, November 19, 2011
History: This has historically been a tight fixture with both sides sharing seven wins apiece (with six draws) from their 20 clashes. The most recent this season saw the Roar come from a goal down at half-time to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Henrique and James Meyer. It was the game that saw Brisbane equal the record for most games unbeaten in Australian professional sport.
Form: Past five matches: Brisbane: WDDWD Newcastle: WLDLD
Brisbane have started another mini unbeaten run, now going five games without defeat since their five-game losing streak. But the Roar-s form has been anything but brilliant and they have only won twice - with three draws - in their current run.
They still have plenty of quality and character which they showed in spades last week to come from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw with the Heart in Melbourne.
Newcastle-s up and down season continued midweek when they were held to a 1-1 draw with Adelaide. The result did neither side any favours in their hopes to put pressure on the teams in the top six.
The Jets problem continues to be their inability to score more than one goal in a match, and there-s every chance they-ll need to get more than one if they are to upset the champions on their home turf.
Match Committee: Brisbane will be without suspended striker Besart Berisha after the club decided against appealing his one-match ban this week. But they seem to finally be on top of their injury problems with Matt Smith coming through the Heart clash fine despite a thigh problem.
Influential playmaker Thomas Broich also played 80 minutes in that match and is sure to be feeling more comfortable after playing the last two games. Brazilian star Henrique may also get a chance from the start after two substitute appearances since his return from injury.
No fresh injury concerns for the Jets but van Egmond is likely to ring the changes for this one considering it will be his side-s third game in a week. The Jets boss is concerned with the fast movement of the Roar-s squad and is likely to go with more mobile players in his team selection for this one.
Danger men: Thomas Broich - There is arguably no more influential player for their club in the A-League than Broich at Brisbane. The Roar lost all five of their games for the season while Broich was out and haven-t been beaten since his return. His ability to find the perfect pass at the right time makes Brisbane a much more dangerous proposition with the German in their side.
His combination down the left with Shane Stefanutto is also a weapon for the Roar and one area the Jets must get on top of if they are to pull off an upset.
Tarek Elrich - Given the influence of Broich for the Roar, it-s vital for the Jets that Elrich is on his game at right back. The 25-year-old has been one of Newcastle-s most consistent players this season, strong at the back and always an option going forward down the right. With the likes of Griffiths, Brockie and Haliti looking for goals, Elrich-s service from the flanks is key to the Jets- hopes.
At the end of the day… Brisbane were forced to settle for another draw against Melbourne Heart last time out, but they-ll be happy to be back at home for this one.
The Roar may no longer strike fear into opposition side-s like they did when they were on their record-breaking run but they still have plenty of attacking threat in their side with the likes of Broich, Henrique, Mitch Nichols and Issey Nakajima-Farran.
The Jets- away form has been woeful this season which won-t fill their fans with any great confidence going into this clash.
Another loss here and it-s almost time for Gary van Egmond and his staff to start planning for next season. The problem for the Jets could be trying to stop the Brisbane ball movement just three days after their tough match with Adelaide in Bathurst. This is a huge test for the Jets and one that if they pass, might just be the catalyst for a late-season revival.
But in truth it-s hard to see anything other than a Brisbane win. They will miss the predatory instincts in the box of the suspended Berisha but they should have too much quality in the front third for Newcastle to contain. Roar to win.