Brisbane are starting to win at the right time but they need to maintain the rage if they are to play finals football. The Roar come into this with back-to-back wins and get the important duo of Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Ivan Franjic back into the team when they welcome one of the in-form sides of the competition in Melbourne City. Warren Joyce’s men are unbeaten in their past five outings but arrive at Suncorp with two draws and a win from rounds 16-18, the latest of which was a 2-all thriller against Newcastle. City have been dealt a huge blow for the remainder of the campaign with leading goal scorer Ross McCormack having departed the club with his loan period now finished. The Irishman was responsible for half of the side’s 28 goals so far this season. Despite that they are running a clear third on the table and are 11 points clear of the sixth placed Roar.
Key stat: Melbourne City has not won at Suncorp in their past four visits to the venue which includes a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Roar back in November.
With the loss of Ross McCormack for City, the obvious choice for first goal scorer is now a lot harder. Avraam Papadopoulos has four goals for the season and is the Roar’s second leading scorer behind Italian hitman, Massimo Maccarone. While that may not be impressive, you have to remember he is a defender and the fact that he has scored the first goal on two occasions this season, including the last time these teams met, makes him a smokey in this market at big odds.
Key stat: Brisbane has scored the first goal in their past three matches including their Asian Champions League qualifier last week.
Winner: Brisbane Roar
First Goal Scorer: Avraam Papadopoulos (Brisbane)
Value pick: Draw / Brisbane Roar (half-full double)