Preview: Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix
This is a classic six-point game - Brisbane Roar can move within a point of the top-six while Wellington Phoenix can strengthen their claim on a finals spot by collecting points for the fourth game in a row.
Date: Sunday November 29 Kick-off: 6pm (7pm AEST) Venue: Suncorp Stadium
TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and Sky Sports 1. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is The Radio Network 1035 AM (Wellington). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au Head-to-head Played 7: Wins: Brisbane Roar 4, Wellington Phoenix 0, Draws: 3
Previous meeting Brisbane Roar 1, Wellington Phoenix 1, Suncorp Stadium, Round 3, August 2009
Past five matches:
Round 11: Brisbane Roar 0, Central Coast 3, Suncorp Stadium Round 12: Sydney FC 2, Brisbane Roar 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 13: Brisbane Roar 1, Newcastle Jets 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 14: Adelaide United 0, Brisbane Roar 2, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 15: Brisbane Roar 0, Melbourne Victory 1, Suncorp Stadium
Round 12: Wellington Phoenix 6, Gold Coast United 0, Westpac Stadium Round 13: Sydney FC 3, Wellington Phoenix 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 10: Wellington Phoenix 3, Newcastle Jets 0, Westpac Stadium Round 14: Wellington Phoenix 1, Perth Glory 1, Westpac Stadium Round 15: Newcastle Jets 0, Wellington Phoenix 1, EnergyAustralia Stadium
Analysis: This is a classic six-point game - Brisbane Roar can move within a point of the top-six while Wellington Phoenix can strengthen their claim on a finals spot by collecting points for the fourth game in a row.
It's hard to pick a winner but based on form alone, there's every chance the punters will take a risk and put their money on the Phoenix.
New Zealand won its first away game in over a year by beating Newcastle 1-0 at EnergyAustralia Stadium last week. In the four rounds before that it picked up seven points thanks to a 6-0 spanking of the Gold Coast, a home victory over the Jets while they played out a 1-1 draw with the Glory in Round 14.
Defensive strength has been a key to the Phoenix's recent success and they've collected five clean sheets in their past eight matches. Ben Sigmund and Andrew Durante will again prove hard to pass but a thigh injury for goalkeeper Mark Paston will be unsettling for those down back.
The visitors will also be without the injured Diego although Vince Lia's return from suspension more than makes up for the midfield loss.
It would dangerous for Brisbane to fall further behind Wellington on the ladder but patchy form suggests it'll be tough to stop that happening.
Its Round -14 win was a drought breaker but was recorded against and equally inconsistent Adelaide while the Roar has managed just four goals in its past five matches.
Last week they fought hard but lost to Melbourne Victory 1-0.
The home team does have room for improvement however with Reinaldo back in the side while Tommy Oar is expected to have more of an impact after a demanding couple of weeks with national commitments.
Brisbane is offering New Zealand ex-pats a 2-for-1 ticket deal for this game but will hoping that promotion doesn't make the Phoenix feel too much at home.
There's too much to lose for the Roar so expect them to scrap for at least a point in this one.
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Liam REDDY (GK), 2. Andrew PACKER, 3. Craig MOORE (c), 4. Luke DEVERE, 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 7. Michael ZULLO, 6. David DODD, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Charlie MILLER, 11. REINALDO, 15. Matt McKAY, 16. Bob MALCOLM, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Danny TIATTO, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 20. Griffin McMASTER (GK), 21. Tommy OAR, 22. Ivan FRANJIC.
In: Bob MALCOLM (promoted), Liam REDDY (returns from injury), Massimo MURDOCCA (promoted), Michael ZULLO (promoted).
Out: HENRIQUE (suspended).
Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Adrian CACERES, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 21. Marco ROJAS, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Costa BARBAROUSES, 30. Jonathan GOULD (gk).
In: Vince LIA (return from suspension), Marco ROJAS (promoted), Jonathan GOULD (gk, short-term injury cover).
Out: Mark PASTON (gk) (thigh - 1 week), DIEGO (groin - 1 week)
Unavailable: Jon McKAIN (quad - 1 week)