The scene is set for another memorable A-League grand final. The Roar are clear favourites, but the Glory cannot be underestimated
Franjic, Smith, Adnan, Stefanutto
Murdocca, Paartalu, Broich, Nichols
Risdon, Pantelidis, Van den Brink, Heffernan
Dodd, Miller, Burns, Andrezinho
Brisbane secured hosting rights for the final after defeating the Premiers' Plate winners Central Coast Mariners in the major semi-final.
The Roar will have fond memories from last season's final, when they defeated the Mariners on penalties after the game ended 2-2 after extra-time.
The Roar disposed of the Mariners fairly easily in the major semi-final 5-2 on aggregate, winning the first leg at Suncorp 2-0 before defeating Central Coast 3-2 in the second leg at Bluetongue Stadium.
Meanwhile, Perth Glory will be competing in their maiden A-League grand final after they did what many thought was the impossible, knocking out Melbourne Heart, Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast on their way to Suncorp.
Perth coach Ian Ferguson proved the many doubters wrong when his side overcame Central Coast in last Saturday's preliminary final to book a spot in the decider, even if it took a penalty shoot-out to decide the Roar's opponents.
More than 50,000 fans turned out to last season's grand final and the same is expected on Sunday, with around 2,000 die-hard Glory supporters making the 3,600km trek from Western Australia.
But what is expected to be different from last year is the condition of the pitch.
Brisbane Roar hosted Ulsan Hyundai in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday, and the pitch did not appear in good condition. With two rugby games at Suncorp on Friday, it will not have improved much by Sunday.
With the passing possession game that Brisbane Roar like to play, a poor pitch will most definitely affect that - which may just favour the away side.
Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou is expected to name an unchanged line up from the side that faced Ulsan on Wednesday, which is arguably his best starting XI.
Ferguson, however, may be forced into a change to the side that faced Central Coast in the preliminary final, with Brazilian import Andrezinho [pictured] nursing a groin strain.
Liam Miller and Steven McGarry have been nursed through training this week, but the former is expected to take his place in the starting XI.
The favourites for the final are Brisbane Roar, and it is hard not to see why. The Roar have not lost to Perth in over two years, while the Glory have not tasted victory in Brisbane since Septemer 2009.
That remains the Glory's only ever win over the Roar at Suncorp.
In the three occasions in which these two sides met this season, Brisbane Roar have come out winners twice, with the other game ending in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Come Sunday, on the grandest stage of them all, another thrilling encounter awaits us all between these two sides.
Can Postecoglou's side do what no club has ever done before and go back-to-back in the A-League grand final? Or will Ian Ferguson's men overcome the Roar and secure their first ever trophy in A-League history?
Only time will tell if this years grand final can live up to the drama and excitement of previous years. But with the quality the two sides possess - particularly up forward - it is conceivable.
Another classic awaits.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Perth Glory have only ever defeated Brisbane Roar once in Brisbane.
- Brisbane striker Besart Berisha and Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz have 35 goals between them this season.
- Brisbane have scored 48 goals against Perth in the history of the A-League and have only conceded 25.
- In the 11 times grand final referee Jarred Gillett has officiated a Brisbane game, they have never lost.
- Perth are on an A-League-best run of four wins in succession.
Who will win this the 2011-12 A-League grand final? Make your predictions and have your say below!