Roar looking to bounce back against Sydney
A-League leaders Brisbane will be aiming to put more distance between themselves and second spot when they face Sydney FC in Round 12.
The Roar's four-game winning streak came to a grinding halt last week when they lost to Newcastle 2-0 at Suncorp Stadium.
The result served as Brisbane's first loss on their home ground this season and just their third defeat overall for 2013-14.
And the bad news for the Sky Blues is that when Brisbane lost their other two matches this season, they bounced back to win the very next game on both occasions.
So the Queensland club will be hell bent on atonement at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night.
The Roar (24 points) are currently two points clear of their nearest rivals Western Sydney (22), so a win for Mike Mulvey's men would at least maintain their breathing space on top of the table by Saturday night when the Wanderers face the Melbourne Victory.
But should Brisbane draw or lose to Sydney, things could really tighten up if the Sky Blues' fierce cross-town rivals then manage to down the Victory.
A draw for the Roar would still almost certainly see them remain in top spot, no matter how Western Sydney went against Melbourne, due to goal difference.
However, a loss would leave Brisbane vulnerable to slipping down to second if the Wanderers managed to claim all three points at AAMI Park on Saturday night in a battle between second and third.
Tony Popovic's men have only lost once on the road this season and that was to the Roar over a month ago.
The Wanderers also head into this clash against the Victory on the back of an active four-game unbeaten streak.
However, Kevin Muscat's side have their tails up as well with wins in their past two games and they will be confident of cutting the difference between themselves and the Wanderers on the A-League table from four points down to one in this huge match-up.
Furthermore, the Victory have only been beaten once at home so far this season.
In other Round 12 matches, bottom two Melbourne Heart and Wellington face off on Friday night at AAMI Park, Adelaide and Newcastle lock horns at Coopers Stadium on Sunday while Central Coast and Perth meet in a New Year's Eve encounter at Bluetongue Stadium.