The finals have come early for both clubs with a victory the only way to ensure they make the top six.
Date: Thursday, March 28, 2013 Kick-off: 8pm AEDT, 7pm local Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Head-to-head: Played 25: Wins: Roar 10, Sydney 7, Draws: 8
Previous encounter: Sydney 2-1 Roar, February 10, 2013
Form: Past five matches: Roar: DWDLW Sydney FC: LLWDD
The Game The scenario is quite simple for both these sides. Win and book yourself a finals berth but draw or lose and face a nervous wait over the weekend to learn their top six fate. It means 90 minutes of tension, drama and excitement should be in store.
Brisbane would appear to be in the box seat, having the edge of playing in front of their own fans and with just one loss in their last five matches. A blistering first-half performance was enough to give them a win over the Melbourne Heart last weekend and they should be boosted by the return of Socceroos defender Jade North for this clash.
The Sky Blues snapped local rivals Western Sydney's astonishing winning run with a well-deserved 1-1 draw in the derby last weekend. But they will be without Socceroos midfielder Brett Emerton for this one following his red card. Skipper Terry McFlynn is the most likely replacement. Lucas Neill's mastring looks to have ruled him out again, meaning Adam Griffiths will come into the starting side.
The clubs have one win apiece this season against each other, with the Sky Blues winning the last clash thanks to a late Peter Triantis thunderbolt.
The Big Issue Roar: Brisbane played some of their best football in the opening half against the Heart last weekend but as has been the problem for much of the season, they struggle to take their chances when they are on offer.
It was only a Besart Berisha penalty and 30-metre screamer from Thomas Broich that ensured they got the win. Mike Mulvey will be hoping they are more clinical in this clash if they are to secure their finals berth.
Sydney: If the Sky Blues are to pull off a rare road win to make the finals they must keep 11 players on the field. Discipline in their away games has been a huge issue for Sydney this season, with the club receiving six red cards in their last five away matches. It's a major reason why Sydney have managed just three draws in their last eight away games.
The Gamebreaker Besart Berisha: He is the player opposition fans love to hate and Sky Blues supporters have plenty of reason to. The Albanian loves playing against Sydney FC, having scored in each of their last three meetings between the sides. No one at the Sky Blues has forgotten his run-in with Pascal Bosschaart towards the end of last season either.
Prediction: Roar 1-1 Sydney The finals have come early for both clubs with a victory the only way to ensure they make the top six. Given Sydney's horror away record over the second half of the season, the Roar will start warm favourites to come away with maximum points. But any side with Alessandro Del Piero in it can never be discounted.