This is without doubt the game of the weekend. Second v third, the two form teams of the competition with all their big guns in form.
Date: Saturday 25 February Kick-off: 6.45pm local, 9.45pm AEDT Venue: nib Stadium
Head-to-head Played 22: Wins: Perth 3, Brisbane 12, Draws: 7
Previous encounter Perth Glory 3, Brisbane Roar 3, January 4, 2012
History: Historically, if there's one side the Glory don't like facing up against it's Brisbane. Perth have a woeful record against the Roar, except for the 2009-10 season when they didn't lose any of their three encounters (including two wins). But besides that it's been all Brisbane including a 4-0 hammering at Suncorp Stadium earlier this campaign. In their most recent meeting the Glory jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Roar fought back with the two side-s playing out an entertaining 3-3 draw.
Form: Past five matches: Perth Glory: WWWLW Brisbane: DLWWW
The Glory are the form side of the A-League with five wins from their last six matches. Ian Ferguson's side have lost just once in their last 10 matches and find themselves in third spot, right on the heels of the Roar. They simply had too much quality for the Jets in their last match, with goals from Adam Hughes and Billy Mehmet contributing to a comfortable 2-0 win.
It's official...Brisbane are back. Three wins on the bounce, seven goals and the swagger is well and truly back in their play. When the Roar were going through their mid-season slump their build-up play was slow and their last-pass options were poor but there's no doubt the last few weeks has seen a return to the quick passing, constant moving Roar attack. The rest of the A-League beware.
Match Committee: Both sides are close to full strength with the Glory sweating on the fitness of influential midfielder Liam Miller, who was substituted in the first half of the win over the Jets with a tight hamstring. The Scot will be monitored through the week before deciding whether to play. The Roar have no major injury worries and could also have Rocky Visconte and Matt Jurman available again after completing Australian under-23 duties in midweek.
Danger men: Billy Mehmet - Mehmet continues to prove he's more than just a target man for the Glory. The big striker is also a fine finisher and made it goals in back-to-back games with his pinpoint header against the Jets.
Besart Berisha - It's been a brilliant couple of weeks for the Albanian striker. Not only has he signed a new two-year deal with the club but Berisha has rediscovered his scoring form. His two goals against Melbourne Victory last weekend took his tally for the season to 15, six ahead of his nearest rival.
At the end of the day… This is without doubt the game of the weekend. Second v third, the two form teams of the competition with all their big guns in form. A win for Perth will see them right on the tails of Brisbane for a top-two berth, while a Roar victory will all but ensure the Queenslanders a second chance in the playoffs.
The Glory have rocketed up the table with five wins in six games but this will undoubtedly be their biggest test. The question is can they keep this run going against the resurgent Roar? Well why not? They are playing at home, are full of confidence and are finding ways to win games. It-s the sign of a team that is packed with experience and set up perfectly to win finals football...and this game certainly has a finals feel to it.
Brisbane's chances will no doubt be boosted if Miller doesn-t shrug off his hamstring injury to play. The Scotsman's creativity and movement in the middle of the park has the capability to trouble the Roar but without it they could become fairly predictable with Burns and Hughes in there. Given the two sides' previous meetings this season has garnered 10 goals there is sure to be a few in this one but with some much on the line they might just cancel each other out.