Is this the last chance saloon for the inconsistent Brisbane and Wellington? Okay, given the close nature of the A-League and the fact that 60 percent of the competition makes the finals, probably not. But there is no doubt that this is a clash between two sides who desperately need a win but for different reasons. Brisbane scored a shock 2-0 win on the road against Western Sydney last week, but needs to start picking up back-to-back successes to fully stamp itself as a genuine playoff contender. While for Wellington, it just needs to win – full stop - after throwing away yet another three points against Melbourne Victory last week. The Phoenix led 2-0 at home at half time before losing 3-2.
3 KEY POINTS
- WELLINGTON is on the bottom of the ladder with just one win and two draws from its first eight games.
- BRISBANE has won two of its last three games, having defeated Melbourne City and Western Sydney with a loss to Sydney FC wedged in between.
- This is the first time regular season A-League action has returned to Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast since the defunct Gold Coast United played BRISBANE in March 2012.
- Wellington shot out to a 3-0 first half lead at Westpac Stadium when these teams met in Round 4, only for Brisbane to come back and draw 3-3.
- Brisbane won two of the three games between these sides last season.
- Wellington has only won two of its 16 away games against Brisbane in the history of the A-League.
- Brisbane is starting to find a bit of a groove, whereas at Wellington confidence would be at a low given last week’s second half shocker. Despite not being at Suncorp Stadium, home state advantage should see Brisbane through here.
DRAW / BRISBANE
- Give the Roar a little bit of time to settle into their new surrounds before they charge home for the win in the second half against a Phoenix side that is prone to late fadeouts.
- Was at the centre of a controversial incident with Phoenix goalkeeper Keegan Smith last time these sides met. Even though Smith has since been relegated to the No.2 position, the wily Italian might be keen to make a point here.
TOTAL GOALS OVER OR UNDER
- Wellington won’t take a backward step away from home but its defence has proven more than fallible so this one should have goals in it.