Who would have thought two of the Hyundai A-League's great achievers would meet each other down on their knees?
Date: Friday November 16, 2012 Kick-off: 7pm QLD, 8pm AEDT Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Head-to-head Played 23: Wins: Brisbane Roar 9, Sydney FC 8, Draws 6
Previous encounter Brisbane 2 Sydney 1, January 2012
Form: Past five matches: Brisbane Roar: WDLLL Sydney FC: LWWLL
The Game Who would have thought two of the Hyundai A-League's great achievers would meet each other down on their knees? Between them these two clubs have won four A-League crowns but they currently sit eighth (Sydney) and 10th (Brisbane).
The Roar have picked up just four points from the last 15 while FC boast a poor 2-4 record and are without a coach following Ian Crook's sudden departure. Neither side will be big on flash - they'll simply roll up the sleeves and do whatever it takes to grab a much-needed win.
The big issue Brisbane Roar: After their worst start to a season, the Roar sit firmly at the crossroads.
Besart Berisha's likely return is a huge boost but goalkeeper Michael Theo (calf) is in considerable doubt. Matt Acton will make his A-League debut if Theo fails to pull through. Jack Hingert is set for a start in defence, replacing Matt Jurman, while attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols could find himself benched.
Coach Rado Vidosic questioned his players' hunger in the wake of the 4-1 loss to Melbourne Heart - a performance he rated the worst in more than two years. He will be expecting a strong response against Sydney.
Sydney FC: The Sky Blues head north without a coach following Ian Crook's shock exit. Interim coach Steve Corica is still without a full fit squad to pick from, although he does get attacking midfielder Joel Chianese back.
Scoring goals hasn't been Sydney's problem, stopping them is and defence has been the main focus at training this week. Corica won't change too much in the short time he's in charge but he's been emphasising the need for composure on the ball. If the Sky Blues go to sleep as they have in the past two weeks, Roar will rip them apart.
Gamebreaker Besart Berisha: The prolific Roar goalscorer has been needled up in a bid to overcome an abdominal injury and appears certain to play. Stopping goals was Brisbane's greatest problem in the 4-1 defeat to Heart last start but Berisha's return is invaluable. If the game is tight, look for the BB gun to fire Brisbane home with a special goal right out of the box.
Prediction Brisbane 3-2 Sydney FC: There appears to be plenty of goals in this one, especially with Sydney showing no great propensity to defend. The Sky Blues have leaked 16 goals in six matches, including 10 in the last two games.
The last time the teams met Brisbane scored two late goals to snatch a 2-1 win at the death. There was an acrimonious postscript to the match which has not been forgotten by those involved.