Even Heart's performances at home have begun to slip so expect the Roar to be too good at Suncorp Stadium, taking a step towards booking a top-six spot.
Date: Sunday, March 24, 2013 Kick-off: 5pm AEDT, 4pm local Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Head-to-head: Played: 8 - Wins: Brisbane 3, Melbourne Heart 3, Draws: 2
Previous encounter: Melbourne Heart 3-2 Brisbane, January 6, 2013
Form: Past five matches: Brisbane: LDWDW Melbourne Heart: LLLWL
The Game After a weekend of finals contenders failing to take their chances to entrench themselves in the top six, the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Heart both desperately need a win at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
Mike Mulvey's Roar sit seventh - behind the sixth-placed Newcastle by two points - while the Heart are ninth, four points back from the Jets. While the Heart have a solid record against Brisbane, their efforts on the road this season have been dreadful and it is hard to see them turning things around.
John Aloisi's men are winless outside Victoria this campaign and face road trips in their final two encounters. Brisbane appeared to be building toward their best form but were poor in a 1-0 loss to Central Coast last time out.
Roar captain Matt Smith remains sidelined while Jade North will also miss the clash after being called up to the Australia squad. It leaves a big hole in the centre of defence, where Matt Jurman is likely to partner James Donachie. Aloisi has almost a full squad at his disposal with only Mate Dugandzic unavailable and Simon Colosimo also missing through suspension.
The Big Issue Brisbane: Can the Roar recapture their best in the attacking third? Not conceding goals is a huge positive but finding the back of the net is more important at this stage of the season, particularly if the defending champions want to play finals.
Including their AFC Champions League qualifier against Buriram United, the Roar have scored just four goals in six matches. For an attack with the talents of Besart Berisha and Thomas Broich at their disposal, it is an unacceptable amount and the Roar need to start clicking up front.
Melbourne: Hardly a surprise that the biggest issue still facing the Heart is their inability to win away from home. A win at Etihad Stadium may have been an away game but once the Heart leave Victoria they have had major problems.
With a trip to the Mariners to come, Aloisi's side must get better on the road to have any chance of making the top six. While their performances have at times been solid away from home, they need to reach the levels they have at stages in front of their home crowd when they visit Suncorp Stadium.
The Gamebreaker Besart Berisha: the Albanian striker, like his team, is due to find the net. Berisha has 12 goals this season but none in the past four games. The reigning golden boot winner has shown he has the quality and given Heart's defending often leaves a lot to be desired, he should get his chances and end his goalless run.
Prediction: Brisbane Roar 3-1 Melbourne Heart Mulvey has the Roar sorted defensively and it should only be a matter of time before they start clicking in the attacking third. An encounter against a side sure to play open, attacking football in desperate search of points should suit Brisbane, who need a win just as much as the Heart do.
The Heart have beaten the Roar twice this season but those victories came at AAMI Park, where Aloisi's side are so comfortable. Even their performances at home have begun to slip so expect the Roar to be too good at Suncorp Stadium, taking a step towards booking a top-six spot.