WWL Preview: Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC

Brisbane Roar against Sydney FC are always close encounters and the latest match-up between the competition heavyweights will surely be on a knife-edge throughout with a grand final appearance on the line.

Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC Sunday 22 January Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre, Brisbane Local kick-off: 2pm (3pm AEDT) Tickets available at the game (One Hour highlights package on ABC1 from 6pm, Saturday) Watch the live stream

Brisbane Roar against Sydney FC are always close encounters and the latest match-up between the competition heavyweights will surely be on a knife-edge throughout with a grand final appearance on the line.

For the first time in three seasons there will be no Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC grand final with the victor to face either Canberra or Melbourne Victory in Saturday week-s finale.

The last four meetings between the pair have seen the team-s separated by no more than a goal. However despite Brisbane-s free-scoring over the past two seasons, it is Brisbane in the ascendency with three wins and a draw.

The weekend saw Brisbane edge a typically combative and physically draining contest on home turf to gain a psychological edge for this Sunday-s clash at the same venue. However Sydney should take confidence from the season opener when they were clearly superior despite only drawing 1-1 as Brisbane showed trademark resilience to earn a share of the points.

Both coaches agree that little is between the teams and it could come down to individual class on the day. Sydney surely have more x-factor with the likes of Kyah Simon and Caitlin Foord amid their ranks, but Brisbane-s defensive toughness and organisation proved its worth once again on the weekend.

Brisbane were without regular goalkeeper Casey Dumont for the weekend match but Japanese shotstopper Hoshimi Kishi has proven herself a more than capable deputy. Dumont will likely return and the Roar expect to otherwise be at full strength, save for long-term absentees Ashleigh Spina and Elise Kellond-Knight.

Sydney FC may have to undergo a second trip to Brisbane in the space of seven days but their record on the road is impressive. Caitlin Foord and Renee Rollason are likely to start after featuring on the bench last weekend however Heather Garriock will again be absent and will miss the remainder of the campaign.