Two of the hottest teams in the A-league will clash on Friday night to commence Round 13.
Table-topping Sydney FC host Brisbane just six weeks after the Roar were the first team to take points off them with the result being a 1-1 draw at Allianz Stadium.
Since that meeting both sides have continued to pick up points on a weekly basis with Sydney entering this game slightly more in form with three wins from their past four games.
The Sky Blues humiliated Adelaide at Coopers Stadium 4-0 on Monday night while Brisbane were held to yet another 1-1 draw, this time, against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Sydney are still yet to be beaten through 12 rounds with nine wins and three draws putting them well clear of the chasing pack. Although Brisbane are going to pose a bigger danger to them than they have faced in recent weeks, Sydney’s goalscorers are finding form again with eight goals in the past two matches against Perth and Adelaide. The only minor concern for Sydney is the short turnaround from their match on Monday evening in Adelaide and whether or not that has an affect on the players.
Brisbane definitely won’t be overshadowed here as they enter the match on a 10-match unbeaten run. Despite the impressive streak they still find themselves nine points behind Sydney FC on the table. In a bizarre scenario, Brisbane actually have more draws (six) than wins (five) but still find themselves third on the table.
Both teams have been outstanding defensively this season and a large part of that comes down to their goalkeepers.
Danny Vukovic (Sydney FC) and his counterpart Michael Theo have been in fine form which sees them boast the best and third-best defences in the competition. Sydney are still conceding less than half a goal per game on average while Brisbane’s defence is nothing to criticise either as they are giving up a goal a game.
HOW IT PANS OUT
If you are looking for a side to have a slight advantage then it is definitely with Sydney FC. The Sky Blues will have the home crowd advantage and that spells trouble for Brisbane who a plus/minus differential of -2 when playing on the road. Their two road wins have both been against Central Coast but on the plus side they have only lost once away from Suncorp and that was to Newcastle.
Another big plus for Graham Arnold’s side is their attack which generates 2.4 goals per game which is clearly a league best. At home Sydney FC have scored 11 and conceded just three, suggesting that a trip to Allianz usually ends in pain for the visitors.
Taking that in consideration then we are going for Sydney FC here.
They are clearly the best team in the competition and although Brisbane have been difficult to beat, their performances on the road haven’t been inspiring enough to suggest they will take all three points here.
One of the positives for John Aloisi’s men is that they have had the advantage over Sydney of late, winning two straight prior to the stalemate from back in Round 7.
THE TIP: SYDNEY FC
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: UNDERS
– both defences are pretty stingy
1ST GOALSCORER: ALEX BROSQUE (Syd FC)
– the veteran striker leads all Sydney FC players with seven and has tallied in his last two games