Can the Wanderers finally break their maiden at Spotless Stadium?
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS V BRISBANE ROAR Friday night, Spotless Stadium
Expect both goalkeepers to be busy in this one. Defence hasn't been a strong point for either side when they play each other which is highlighted by their most recent clash in the Preliminary Final last year. The epic contest produced a memorable 5-4 result which will long live in the minds of both supporters, especially those in Red and Black who went on to another Grand Final appearance. The last four times these teams have played an average of 4.5 goals has been the end result. AWAY BLUES
It is remarkable how different Brisbane can be from one week to the next. Playing at home they look like world beaters with their display against Sydney FC proof of that. Outplayed in the first 45 mins and trailing 1-0, they fought back gallantly in the second half to level the scores and were unlucky not to win it. Then you take them on the road and for some reason they cannot replicate such results. In three away fixtures so far they have a mixed bag (win, draw, loss) which includes a 4-0 loss to the Jets back in Round 2. While they are a much better outfit now they need to improve markedly on road trips where they only won three times all of last season. HOW IT PANS OUT
Western Sydney can consider themselves unfortunate not to have won against Melbourne City last week. Having a goal wrongly ruled out for offside, they had to wait until injury time to find a leveller. Having a second straight home game will be to their advantage and this could finally be the game that sees them win their first fixture at the venue. The defence is still a concern with 14 conceded making them the second-worst in the competition in that category behind Perth. John Aloisi has done a tremendous job in reinforcing Brisbane's back four, with their eight goals conceded making them the second-best in the comp behind Sydney FC. While the defence is solid their attack, so rampant last season, has taken a backward step with their seven goals scored putting them equal with the Mariners and Central Coast with only Wellington (five) worse. That alone could be the deciding factor here. THE TIP: Western Sydney Wanderers - they have to click at some point! TO SCORE A GOAL: Jamie Maclaren - he has scored in four straight matches against the Wanderers