This Sunday, Suncorp Stadium will play host to a Grand Final rematch between Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers. With both sides coming off the back of strenuous Asian Champions League exertions in midweek, the match appears poised to be an even one.
The Roar return to Brisbane coming off the back of a 2-2 draw with league leaders Perth Glory last weekend. The defending champions played a largely solid performance in the West and will be looking to extend their unbeaten run against Tony Popovic’s team come Sunday.
Meanwhile the Wanderers travel north of the border following a disappointing 4-3 derby defeat to arch rivals Sydney FC. For much of this season the ‘red-and-blacks’ have appeared to lack that necessary steel and impenetrable defence that they were originally built on. In all honesty, the level of talent within the squad is leaps and bounds better than there’s ever been and despite playing fairly well at times, luck has not gone their way.
On a somewhat brighter side of the spectrum Frans Thijssen’s side enter this fixture in impressive form experiencing only two losses in their last 11 league fixtures and appear primed to add to this statistic come the weekend. A win for the home side would mount further pressure on Melbourne City in the race for sixth spot and reiterate championship defence intentions. A looming concern however, should any surface, relates to fatigue given the Roar’s recent return from Japan following their 1-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds.
Ironically, the Asian champions seem simply out of sorts. The midweek loss to Guangzhou Evergrande took a lot out of the side and just might potentially come back to haunt them come the business end of the group stage. Western Sydney’s domestic season is assumably over, therefore an away victory at the weekend would, at best, do well to restore some pride amongst the players and move them off the bottom of the standings.
Irrespective of the statistics, this fixture will be a highly entertaining match of football in which both sides will be sure to give a real stab at taking home the spoils. The Roar cannot afford to drop points approaching the competition’s final months, and the Wanderers would enjoy the chance to give their fans something to cheer about. All in all the side with more to play for generally wins the contest and couple this with the home advantage: Brisbane Roar should emerge the victors come full-time.
Played: 9. Brisbane Roar: 2. Western Sydney Wanderers: 4
Last Meeting: 3/12/2014 at Parramatta Stadium. Western Sydney Wanderers 0-1 Brisbane Roar.
Brisbane Roar: LWWWD Western Sydney Wanderers: LWDLL
Brisbane Roar: Corey Brown (suspended – 1 week)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Brendan Hamill (injured – 1 week), Golgol Mebrahtu (knee – indefinite), Shannon Cole (collar bone – 7 weeks), Brendon Santalab (shoulder – indefinite)
Brisbane Roar: Theo; Stefanutto; North; DeVere; Polenz; McKay; Brattan; Broich; Borello; Henrique; Solorzano
Western Sydney Wanderers: Covic; Golec; Topor-Stanley; Spiranovic; Tanaka; Kalmar; Poljak; Rukavytsya; Castelen; Takahagi; Bulut
Prediction: Brisbane Roar 2-1 Western Sydney Wanderers
The Wanderers have not beaten the Roar in a regular season match since the 20th of January 2013. Advantage Brisbane.Google+