Roar's finals hopes on the line in must-win clash with Reds

With six games still to go in the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season, it might seem a little early to be talking about "must-win" matches.

But as Brisbane Roar prepare to welcome Adelaide United to Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, it's not overstating the case to say it's a meeting of massive importance for the home side.

Roar are Hyundai A-League Finals Series regulars, having featured in the last seven.

Ironically, the last time they didn't make it was the last time Newcastle did, all the way back in 2009/10.

Now the positions are reversed.

The Jets are flying and a lock in the top six.

Brisbane have some ground to make up in their last half-dozen matches.

Massimo Maccarone has nine goals in his debut Hyundai A-League season

As it stands, Brisbane are seventh, four points behind Western Sydney.

And Roar are seven points adrift of fifth-placed Adelaide who they play on Saturday night.

A win for the Reds would open up a ten-point chasm and all but lock Adelaide into the finals.

But victory for Brisbane would close the gap between the two to just four points and also bring Roar to within one point of sixth place.

Western Sydney don't play this weekend, but will back themselves to solidify sixth spot when they host bottom-placed Wellington next weekend.

Jamie Young has been in superb form this season

Crucially though, Brisbane still have to play Western Sydney one more time.

That round 26 clash on Saturday April 7 may turn out to be a straight shoot-out for sixth.

But as things stand, Brisbane's finals destiny is in their own hands.

And that starts with three points against Adelaide.

It would be a fourth win in six for Roar, who won just three of their first 16 games.

And it might just provide the launching pad for an eighth straight finals appearance for John Aloisi's men.