Roar ready for anyone

The Brisbane Roar have no preference as to who they meet in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final, they just want to face and defeat the best opposition available, according to coach Ange Postecoglou.

The Brisbane Roar have no preference as to who they meet in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final, they just want to face and defeat the best opposition available, according to coach Ange Postecoglou.

Having booked their spot in the decider with a 4-2 aggregate win over Central Coast in their major semi-final, the Roar have the weekend off, while the Mariners face Gold Coast United in the preliminary final for the right to meet the Premiers at Suncorp Stadium on March 13th.

Each potential match-up is tantalising it its own right.

The Gold Coast would bring a derby flavour to the Championship showdown, as well as the danger of classy front-men Bruce Djite and Shane Smeltz, who would be unlikely to squander as many silver-platter opportunities as the Mariners did across two legs of semi-final action.

Should the Mariners return to Suncorp, their performance and aggression in matching the Roar in a 2-2 draw last time out ensures fans would be treated to a hostile and riveting decider.

Speaking after a high-intensity training session at Ballymore, Postecoglou refused to be drawn into naming a preferred opponent, declaring his only request was to face the next-best side in the competition, whoever that may be.

"Why would you want to avoid anyone in a grand final? You want to be the best team; to be the best team you have to beat the best, so I don't want to avoid anyone," he said.

"I want to play the best team at the top of their form in the grand final; that's how you decide a competition, not by hoping that you meet a weakened side or you avoid someone."

"I want to play the grand final, play well against a really good opponent, and win - I think that's what finals are all about."

Regardless, the clash between the Mariners, who went within minutes of ending the Roar's unprecedented 27-game undefeated streak, and the Gold Coast, who have only lost once to the Roar over two years in the competition, is sure to provide a worthy opponent.

Separating the two preliminary final combatants seems a toss-of-the-coin proposition, and even Postecoglou couldn't spot a definitive advantage for either side, predicting a tight and tense affair.

"They've both got a pretty clear system and structure and they stick to it. They could balance each other out. We haven't had a game go to extra time and penalties yet," he said.

"I doubt if one team will dominate the other. I think it'll be a really tight contest."

"If you go on the league, (the next best team) is Central Coast - they finished second by a margin -but, if you look at finals form, Gold Coast have won both their games against really good opponents, tough opponents, so they've got the form going into it."

"Whoever does come through is going to be a tough opponent for us."