2016-17 Round 27 A-League PreviewPosted: April 15, 2017
While Brisbane missed the chance to guarantee a home final in week one last week over in Perth, other results across the weekend were kind and John Aloisi’ side enter the final game of the regular season with their destiny firmly in their own hands.
We’ll get to the finals equation in a moment, but this game falls at the end of yet another busy week for the Roar, who backed up a lacklustre away day in Perth with a shock win over J-League Champions Kashima Antlers to keep their hopes of progressing beyond the ACL Group Stage alive.
Focus for now however turns back to the domestic competition, with the Roar needing a win and plenty of goals to ensure they climb above third placed Melbourne City and secure the higher seeding ahead of next weeks opening round of the finals.
While both Brisbane and Melbourne City enter the weekend tied on 39 points, City’s superior goal difference – +6 compared to +5- means that the Roar will need goals in their final game in order to jump into third place provided City manage to defeat Perth in the final game of the regular season on Sunday night.
A draw in that game out west would cement 3rd for the Roar provided they beat Wellington, however a Nix win and a Perth Glory win could result in the West Australians taking the home final spot away from the Roar. That however is an unlikely proposition with Perth entering the weekend with a much worse goal difference (-1).
The simple math is this; anything but a loss will result in a home final for the Roar, while to get into third they’ll either need a comprehensive win over the Phoenix or for Melbourne City to drop points against Perth Glory.
What have they done lately?
Wellington’s finals chances officially came to an end last weekend after their 1-1 draw at home to Sydney FC, coupled with Perth’s 2-1 win over the Roar ensured the Glory took the final place in the finals series.
While the Phoenix had something of a late season resurgence under Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre’s leadership, it wasn’t enough to make up for their slow start to 2017 which saw them go on a five game winless run throughout January and February.
That run however started and began with the two previous clashes against Brisbane this season, with the Roar winning in round 16 before the Nix ended their winless streak in round 21.
Individually there haven’t been too many high points but Roy Krishna has continued his development this season, with his eleven goals this season cementing his reputation as one of the more dangerous forwards in the league.
This season against Wellington Phoenix
Round 16– Wellington Phoenix 0-1 Brisbane Roar
Round 21– Brisbane Roar 1-2 Wellington Phoenix
Brisbane– Jamie Maclaren (18)
Wellington– Roy Krishna (11)
Having played two games already in the past week John Aloisi will have to deal with fatigue when deciding upon his side for this weeks game, one which the Roar will need to win in order to finish in third place.
While Corey Brown is rested with his seven yellow cards, Aloisi will welcome back Tommy Oar, Thomas Broich, Avram Papadopoulos and Thomas Kristensen to the side.
Papadopoulos figures to partner Jade North at the back as the central defensive rotation continues, while Kye Rowles and Dane Ingham are set to battle it out for a start at full-back.
Further forward it figures to be a full strength Brisbane attack with Thomas Broich returning to the side as Jamie Maclaren goes hunting for the goals to deliver him the golden boot.
Brisbane XI– Theo, Hingert, North, Papadopoulos, Ingham, Kristensen, Caletti, Holman, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes– Young, Rowles, Pepper, Oar, D’Agostino.
Omitted– DeVere, Brady.
Wellington have been in solid form to end the 2016-17 season, with the Phoenix picking up four points out of six in the last two weekends and Des Buckingham will be looking for another solid showing to conclude their season.
The Phoenix will however be without Shane Smeltz and Jacob Tratt who left the club this week as Wellington begin their preparations ahead of next season. While Tratt has been out of the side in recent weeks, Smeltz was part of the squad in their final home game of the season last week and will likely be replaced by young striker Sarpeet Singh.
Wellington XI– Italiano, Lowry, Durante, Rossi, Doyle, Lia, Rodriguez, Bonevacia, Finkler, Krishna, Barbarouses.
Substitutes– Moss, Parkhouse, McGlinchey, Watson, Singh.
Omitted– Sail, Rogerson.
Stats and Facts
- Wellington have won on their last two trips to Brisbane. Their last loss here in Brisbane was February 1st, 2015. (Brisbane 3-2 Wellington).
All-Time Record against Wellington Phoenix