Roar and Mariners resume rivalry

Brisbane Roar's surprise defeat to the Melbourne Heart last weekend has added extra spice to their clash with the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday.

Brisbane Roar's surprise defeat to the Melbourne Heart last weekend has added extra spice to their clash with the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday.

Not only does the top-of-the-table clash feature the two best sides this season by far, who played out that epic grand final last season, but it also pits the league's two best managers against each other.

Central Coast's 2-0 success against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday meant that their manager, Graham Arnold, moved ahead of Brisbane boss Ange Postecoglou in terms of win/loss ratio in the Hyundai A-League.

Arnold has presided over 23 wins and eight losses in charge of Central Coast, while Postecoglou has seen his side win 30 and lose 11.

But Postecoglou has a chance to exact immediate revenge at Suncorp Stadium in the eagerly anticipated match.

And his side will still enter the match as favourites despite successive losses to the Heart and Sydney FC.

Before that, as we know, Brisbane dazzled football fans across the country with their exciting brand of football as they went unbeaten for 36 matches.

A mid-week match in New Zealand on Wednesday will give the Roar the chance to get back on the winners' list, but there is no question they will be prepared for the Mariners on Saturday.

Brisbane - the media darlings for so long - have been replaced at the top of football discussion with praise for Arnold's side and their exciting brand of football.

Mariners stars Mustafa Amini and Bernie Ibini are the youngsters everyone is talking about, instead of Mitch Nichols, Ivan Franjic and Matthew Jurman, but the Brisbane trio will be determined to change that.

They will face a Central Coast side who are unbeaten in seven though, and if any extra motivation is needed, it might come from defender Pedj Bojic's 100th national league appearance in Australia.

The 27-year-old made 16 appearances with Parramatta Power and Sydney Olympic in the old NSL, before a three-and-a-half year stint at English outfit Northampton Town.

Bojic returned to Australia in 2008 and since then has featured in 83 Hyundai A-League matches.

It is also a rematch of last season's incredible grand final, in which Brisbane scored two goals in the last five minutes of injury time to force a penalty shootout.

With so much riding on Saturday's encounter, it is a must-watch for any football fan.