Will we see another epic semi between these sides when they clash on Friday night?
Last season Brisbane and Western Sydney played out a 5-4 thriller at Pirtek Stadium in the semis with the latter progressing through to the Grand Final after trailing 3-nil. It was one of the most memorable and exciting games in A-league history but will it be repeated here?
Both sides are in form coming into this game with Brisbane giving Wellington a healthy start before knocking them off 4-3 at this ground while the Wanderers drew with Adelaide after trailing 2-nil.
John Aloisi needed to firm up his defence from last season and he did that to a certain degree in 2016/17, however, as a result of that the attack of Brisbane hasn’t been as effective.
Over the course of the season, Brisbane scored six goals less than they did last year but they also conceded three less goals.
For most of the season Brisbane hasn’t really shone when it came to putting goals in the back of the net but that has changed in their past six A-league fixtures. A whopping 15 of their 43 goals scored have come in their past six outings which means that in the previous 21 games of the competition they scored just 28.
The big contributor to their goals for the season has been none other than Jamie Maclaren who has 19 for the term. Highlighting just how important he is to Aloisi and his team, the next best in terms of goals is Brett Holman on five and he got a double last week against the Phoenix!
The Wanderers will go into this with a fair bit of confidence having picked up points in six straight A-league games including a hat-trick of wins in the middle of that sequence.
Like Brisbane, they have juggled Asian Champions League commitments and even pulled off an upset in Korea by beating FC Seoul 3-2, however, in the reverse fixture it was the visitors who left victorious.
Focusing purely on the A-league and the Wanderers were patchy for the majority of the season, especially when it came to scoring goals, and will go into this game as the team with easily the least amount of goals scored in the comp (35 goals @ an average of 1.29 per game).
When it comes to defence (37 goals conceded) only Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory have been scored on less.
The Wanderers have two wins in the past six against Brisbane and both of those were last season.
In three encounters this time around, two of them have ended in a 1-1 draw while their recent bout saw Brisbane snatch a win at the death thanks to a 93rd minute strike from Brett Holman.
In the past six games they’ve played each team has scored at least once while the Total Goals average has been four. Sportsbet has the Over 3.5 @ $2.91 which represents great value.
Remarkably we are going to tip a Draw at the end of 90 minutes.
They have played out a stalemate in two of their past three games and it could have very nearly been the case again last time they played if it wasn’t for Holman’s injury-time winner.
Brisbane’s defence has been fantastic at home, conceding just 14 goals to put Sydney as the only other team with a better defence in front of their own fans.
Combine that with the WSW and their away record, which stands at 4-5-4 and puts them third in the league in respect to points scored on the road, and we could very well see extra time between these side again.
After that, who knows what happens but we get the feeling the Wanderers have been steadily building towards something and as the only team to knock off Sydney FC in the regular season, we are banking on them to go through.
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
WANDERERS TO WIN IN EXTRA TIME