A-League preview: Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney
Brisbane Roar's horror season lurched to another low when they fell to the Jets last Saturday, and their bid to return to form gets no easier when Western Sydney visit on Sunday
Franjic, Smith, North, Stefanutto
Brattan, Murdocca, NicholsHalloran, Berisha, Broich
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Polenz, T-Stanley, Beauchamp, D'Apuzzo
Poljak, Ono, MooyHersi, Bridge, Haliti
Reiging A-League champions Brisbane continue to underachieve this season, with the team sitting in eighth position and just one point from the bottom of the table.
Mike Mulvey's men come into this clash on the back of consecutive defeats – including last Saturday's 1-0 loss to Newcastle - and have also lost both previous meetings against the Wanderers this season.
The Roar will need to find a replacement in midfield for the influential Erik Paartalu after the 26-year-old nears a move to Chinese club Tianjin Teda.
In some good news for the club, Australia international defender Jade North is set to make his debut. North should come in for James Donachie, who was one of several players who lowered their colours in the inept loss to the Jets.
He is one of four additions to Brisbane's squad, alongside fellow new signing Julius Davies [formerly of Melbourne Victory], Luke Brattan and George Lambadaridis. Nick Fitzgerald has been omitted after his end-of-season transfer to the Central Coast Mariners was announced.
The Wanderers are the form side of the competition, having tasted defeat just once in their last seven games.
Last Sunday's impressive 2-0 away win over the Phoenix means Tony Popovic's side have a healthy six-point gap between themselves in fourth and the Newcastle Jets, who are fifth.
There are six inclusions in an extended squad for the Wanderers, including Croatian front man Dino Kresinger, fellow striker Joey Gibbs, midfielder Jason Trifiro and new signing Rocky Visconte.
Marquee man Shinji Ono could be set for a return to the starting XI, having started among the substitutes on Sunday.
Tahj Minniecon remains unavailable due to an ongoing foot complaint.
If Brisbane are to make a genuine fist of a third-straight title-winning season then the time has come for them to make a statement.
News of crisis meetings between coach and players will not give their fans confidence they can turn things around, but you only need to take a quick glance down the Roar team-sheet to know the talent is definitely there.
But the Wanderers have shown in recent months they are worthy finals contenders, and their well-organised and counter-attacking game seems to suit playing the Roar.
They have already won in Brisbane once this season and it would come as no surprise if they did it again.
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Top 3 Predictions
Brisbane Roar 1-2 Western Sydney Wanderers
- 28.57 %
Brisbane Roar 8-0 Western Sydney Wanderers
- 14.29 %
Brisbane Roar 3-1 Western Sydney Wanderers
- 14.29 %
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||07/02/2014||Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Brisbane Roar 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||22/11/2013||Brisbane Roar 3 - Western Sydney Wanderers 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||12/04/2013||Western Sydney Wanderers 2 - Brisbane Roar 0|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||20/01/2013||Brisbane Roar 1 - Western Sydney Wanderers 2|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||09/12/2012||Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Brisbane Roar 0|
|14/03/2014||Sydney FC 1 - Brisbane Roar 1||AUS1|
|09/03/2014||Brisbane Roar 2 - Adelaide United 1||AUS1|
|28/02/2014||Brisbane Roar 3 - Perth Glory 1||AUS1|
|23/02/2014||Melbourne Heart 1 - Brisbane Roar 0||AUS1|
|16/02/2014||Brisbane Roar 0 - Newcastle Jets 1||AUS1|
|Western Sydney Wanderers|
|12/03/2014||Guizhou Renhe 0 - Western Sydney Wanderers 1||ACL|
|08/03/2014||Sydney FC 3 - Western Sydney Wanderers 1||AUS1|
|02/03/2014||Western Sydney Wanderers 0 - Newcastle Jets 2||AUS1|
|26/02/2014||Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 3||ACL|
|22/02/2014||Perth Glory 0 - Western Sydney Wanderers 2||AUS1|
|-||Adam Leonard D'Apuzzo||Defender|
|-||Iacopo La Rocca||Midfielder|