The A-League kicks their series of Round 19 midweek matches off tonight with the Brisbane Roar hosting the North Queensland Fury. Tonight is the first of five Tuesday & Wednesday night matches over summer that will make up round 19 - the others being Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners on December 23; Gold Coast United v Newcastle Jets on January 13, 2010; Adelaide United v Perth Glory on January 19 and Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix on January 26.
The ninth place Roar are in desperate need of after dropping Saturday's home game to bottom of the table Adelaide whilst the Fury bounced back from their 4-1 defeat at the hands of Sydney FC in round 17 by defeating the Perth Glory 1-0 at home last week.
That win pushed them to eighth on the table, just a point clear of the Roar and a win here would have them in the top six albeit with a game less to play than those clubs sitting around that mark.
The Roar will welcome back midfielder Matt McKay as well as left-back Tommy Oar from injury and right-back Ivan Franjic who was in impressive form before getting injured. David Dodd is out of the side after copping a suspension for picking up too many yellows.
In the Fury camp, things are fairly stable after a dominant performance against the Glory but it is hard to rest in the A-League with the competition being so tight and Ian Ferguson will be hoping his squad is as hungry for points as they were last week.
The way the North Queenslanders played last week indicates they are good enough for this and I am tipping them to just get over the line against the Roar. Verdict: Fury 2-1.