Matches do not come more crucial than when Brisbane Roar travel to Sydney FC on Sunday, with a draw doing little for either side's finals chances
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Ryall, Calvano, Griffiths, FabioEmerton, Culina, Grant
Powell, Del Piero, Abbas
Franjic, North, Donachie, Stefanutto
Murdocca, Brattan, Brattan
Nichols, Berisha, Broich
Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar are locked together on 21 competition points, with only goal difference seeing the latter in sixth spot. The Sky Blues sit two places further back.
And with just two finals spots left to fight for, a win in this clash is vital to both sides' top six aspirations.
The form guide does not give a great indication into which team will have the edge, with both notching a win, a draw and a loss in their past three games.
The Sky Blues will be without captain Terry McFlynn and striker Joel Griffiths [both suspended] but they do have the luxury of welcoming back some key players.
Experienced midfielders Brett Emerton and Jason Culina both return from injury, while defenders Fabio and Tiago Calvano are available again after serving one-game bans and Yairo Yau is back from international duty.
Brisbane's line-up is a lot more settled, and coach Mike Mulvey may be tempted to include new signing Stefan Nijland from the start after he impressed off the bench against the Central Coast last Friday.
Matt Jurman is suspended, with his place set to be taken by the recalled James Donachie.
The two sides have met once this season, with the Roar running out convincing 4-2 winners at Suncorp Stadium.
But with these sides level on points, this match is probably the hardest of the weekend to predict.
The Roar have a strong record against Sydney, losing only six times in 24 meetings and winning their past two clashes at Allianz Stadium.
But the Sky Blues are beginning to turn their home in to somewhat of a fortress again, winning the past three games in succession in front of their fans.
What does that mean? It should be close, hard fought and with a few goals but a draw could be the most likely outcome.