Preview: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory

Matches between these sides are rarely boring, and the two clashes this season were no exception.

Date: Saturday March 9, 2013 Kick-off: 6:45pm AEST Venue: Suncorp Stadium

Head-to-head Played: 23 Wins: Brisbane Roar 8, Melbourne Victory 10, Draws: 3

Previous encounter Victory 1, Roar 1, December 15, 2013

Form: Past five matches: Roar: LLWDW Victory: WLLLW

The Game This clash could prove to be a tasty one. Ange Postecoglou was less than impressed with the treatment he was dished out upon his return to Suncorp on the opening day of the season. Goaded by the fans that rode the wave with him to back-to-back titles, an embarrassing 5-0 defeat did little to ease Postecoglou's woes.

What that match did highlight was that the transition at Victory may not be as smooth as first thought for the coach.

The wait was worth it though, with Victory playing some breathtaking football this season, albeit in patches.

Last week's emphatic 5-0 defeat of a youthful Newcastle side arrested a three-game losing streak. And, as bad as Victory were a week earlier in a 6-2 loss to Central Coast, Postecoglou will take great confidence knowing when they turn it on, they are very difficult to contain.

In a final series, the points gap to the Mariners and Wanderers will pale into insignificance if Victory can reproduce that sort of form in one-off matches.

Mike Mulvey's Roar have become a tough nut to crack in recent weeks and were excellent last Saturday as they defeated Adelaide 1-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium. The score line did not tell the true tale, with Reds shot-stopper Eugene Galekovic the only person preventing a thrashing.

Roar's defence has been particularly good, with the Adelaide game marking a fourth straight clean sheet, including an Asian Champions League 0-0 draw against Buriram United.

Marcos Flores and Gui Finkler are injury doubts for Victory after missing the Newcastle clash, while Brisbane captain Matt Smith is out for the season.

The Big Issue Brisbane Roar: Brisbane are just inside the top six, but with the bottom four all chasing them and within four points. Missing the finals after back-to-back titles would be considered a disaster for a squad that was largely unchanged before the season commenced. Sydney are improving and Melbourne Heart continue to win at home, leaving Brisbane in a very precarious position indeed.

Melbourne Victory: Can Postecoglou seek revenge against his old employers, in front of his old faithful? Postecoglou would dearly love to prove a point after his new side were humiliated at the start of the season. No doubt he will have taken some delight in seeing Brisbane struggle to reach the finals with the same squad following that humbling defeat.

The significance of the match on the finals make-up cannot be ignored - a Victory win would plunge a dagger into the Roar's top-six hopes with three games to play.

Gamebreaker Marco Rojas: The Kiwi continues to dazzle A-League defences and scored another sublime double against the Jets to take his season tally to 14 goals, one behind golden boot leader Daniel McBreen.

Rojas was unplayable last week, with the return to fitness of Archie Thompson causing further headaches for opponents in the front third. The duo combined perfectly again and interestingly, Rojas ended a run of four games without a goal or an assist - the latest three all losses which Thompson missed.

Prediction: Brisbane Roar 2-3 Melbourne Victory Matches between these sides are rarely boring, and the two clashes this season were no exception. Roar turned on the style in Round 2 to send a punishing message to their departed coach.

In mid-December Victory were an entirely different proposition when Brisbane came to town. After a breathless first half, Victory somehow found themselves a goal down despite playing some of their best football all season. But Mark Milligan rescued a point and the fans were already waiting for the third instalment.

Goals loom again for Saturday's clash and with Thompson back in the side and Rojas firing, expect Victory to scrape home in another entertaining bout.