Preview: Queensland Roar v Sydney FC
This is massive match for both teams with Queensland needing to win to keep the top two within reach while Sydney's slim hopes of finals action will disappear without maximum points in this match.
Date: Saturday January 17 Kick-off: 8:00pm AEDT, 7:00pm AEST Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and Sky Sport 3. To purchase tickets visit www.premier.ticketek.com.au
Head-to-head 13 A-League meetings: Queensland - 2 wins, Sydney 4, Draws - 7
Previous meeting Sydney FC 1, Queensland Roar 1, SFS, Round 13, November 2008
Past Five Games Queensland Roar: Round 15: Queensland Roar 2, Newcastle Jets 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 17: Queensland Roar 3, Wellington Phoenix 2, Suncorp Stadium Round 18: Melbourne Victory 2, Queensland Roar 1, Telstra Dome Round 19: Central Coast Mariners 3, Queensland Roar 4, Bluetongue Stadium Round 16: Adelaide United 0, Queensland Roar 0, Hindmarsh Stadium
Sydney FC: Round 15: Central Coast 2, Sydney FC 1, Bluetongue Stadium Round 16: Sydney FC 2, Perth Glory 3, Sydney Football Stadium Round 17: Melbourne Victory 3, Sydney FC 2, Telstra Dome Round 18: Adelaide United 2, Sydney FC 0. Adelaide Oval Round 19: Sydney FC 1, Wellington Phoenix 0, Sydney Football Stadium
Analysis This is massive match for both teams with Queensland needing to win to keep the top two within reach while Sydney's slim hopes of finals action will disappear without maximum points in this match.
Queensland has played the other top four teams away in the past three games and emerged with a creditable four points from those three encounters. The stirring 4-3 win over Central Coast last week, highlighted by Tahj Minniecon's brilliant performance, was followed up with a 0-0 draw against Adelaide.
Queensland had by far the better of that game against the ladder leaders with Sergio Van Dijk and Michael Zullo both unlucky not to score in the stalemate. While the Roar will be relieved to be back home again, the toll of three big games on the road in the space of 12 days may become evident in this match.
With that in mind, Frank Farina has rung the changes bringing back Charlie Miller, Danny Tiatto, Liam Reddy and Josh McLoughan from injury. Tim Smits is also included, while Luke DeVere missing through injury and Matt Ham completes his spell as back-up keeper.
Queensland's home record was abysmal earlier in the season, including a run of four consecutive home losses, but it turned that around with three recent home wins albeit against Perth, Newcastle and Wellington.
The two matches between these teams this season have resulted in 1-1 draws making the head to head ledger which features seven draws from 13 matches, look a little lop-sided.
Sydney's hopes of the post-season were kept alive thanks to Kofi Danning's debut Hyundai A-League goal against Wellington in match which turned when Troy Hearfield was sent off. It broke a four-match losing streak for Sydney.
However, few of the many questions surrounding Sydney were answered in that match and John Kosmina has decided to include Adam Casey and Matthew Jurman with Adam Casey left out. John Aloisi, Bobby Petta and Mitch Prentice are a week away.
Queensland Roar Squad: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Andrew PACKER, 4.Craig MOORE (c), 5.Josh McCLOUGHAN, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Charlie MILLER, 12. Tahj MINNIECON, 14.Ben GRIFFIN, 15.Matthew McKAY, 16.Hyuk-Su SEO, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Danny TIATTO, 20.Griffin McMASTER (gk), 21.Tommy OAR, 22. Robbie KRUSE, 23. Tim SMITS.
*three to be omitted
In:1. Liam REDDY (returns from injury), 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN (returns from injury), 10. Charlie MILLER (returns from injury), 18. Danny TIATTO (returns from injury), 23. Tim SMITS (returns from illness).
Out: 3. Luke DEVERE (injured), 40. Matt HAM (end of short-term injury contract)
Unavailable: REINALDO (groin injury).
Sydney FC Squad. 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA(c), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry McFLYNN, 16. Chris PAYNE, 18. Adam CASEY, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 27. Matthew JURMAN, 32. Brendan GAN, 34. Rhyan GRANT, 35. Kofi DANNING, 36. Zach CAIRNCROSS. *One to be omitted.
In: 18. Adam CASEY (return injury), 27. Matthew JURMAN (return suspension).
Out: 21. Adam BIDDLE (not selected).
Unavailable: 23.John ALOISI (quadricep - 1 week), 22.Mike ENFIELD (knee - indefinite), 28.Bobby PETTA (groin - 1 week), 5.Mitchell PRENTICE (groin - 1 weeks), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder - 2 weeks).