Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix preview

League leaders Brisbane Roar can go a step closer to securing the Premier’s Plate when they host Wellington Phoenix at Skilled Park this evening.

The rescheduled match, originally fixtured for Suncorp Stadium but moved because of the Queensland floods, will see the Roar take on the New Zealand club at the home of Gold Coast United.

Ange Postecoglou’s men have the chance to equal an Australian national league record of 22 matches undefeated which they will share with the APIA Leichhardt sides of 1986 and 1987 if they can avoid losing to the Phoenix.

Two draws in their last two outings has seen the Roar at their most vulnerable of the season and facing a Wellington outfit determined to get three points to enhance their finals chances promises to be a tough task.

They returned to form with a faultless 4-0 win over Perth Glory on the weekend, indicating they might be ready for this, but I feel that Brisbane are a class above the Phoenix and should be back to their best, spirited by the form of skipper Matt McKay who led the Australian national team to a crushing 6-0 win in the Asian Cup semi-final over Uzbekistan.

Verdict: Roar 2-1

Brisbane Roar vs. Wellington Phoenix
Date: Wednesday, 26 January 2010
Venue: Skilled Park, Robina
Local kick-off: 5.00pm (6.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Ryan Shepheard
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 11): Brisbane Roar wins 7, Wellington Phoenix wins 1 (3 draws)
Match fact: Having not lost any of their previous 21 Hyundai A-League matches, Brisbane Roar are now aiming to equal the Australian national league record longest undefeated streak, set by Apia Leichhardt from September 1986 to September 1987.

FIVE LONGEST UNDEFEATED STREAKS IN AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL LEAGUE HISTORY

- 22 Apia Leichhardt - 7 September 1986 to 6 September 1987
- 21 Brisbane Roar – 18 September 2010 to 12 January 2011
- 21 Sydney Olympic - 14 July 1985 to 20 July 1986
- 21 South Melbourne – 12 August 1984 to 28 April 1985
- 20 Sydney City – 22 May 1977 to 5 March 1978

Meanwhile, having scored 48 goals to date this season (26 matches), Brisbane Roar are aiming to become the first team to score 50 goals in a Hyundai A-League home-and-away season. The previous most goals scored in a home-and-away season was 47, by Melbourne Victory in 2009/10 (27 matches).

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 10. HENRIQUE, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21. James MEYER, 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK *three to be omitted*
In: Ivan FRANJIC (returns from injury), HENRIQUE (returns from injury
Out: Milan SUSAK (suspended 1 week)
Unavailable: Matt McKAY (international duty – 1 week)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Nicky WARD, 6. Tim BROWN, 9, Chris GREENACRE, 10, Oscar Roberto CORNEJO, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14, Mirjan PAVLOVICH, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 19, Danny VUKOVIC, 20, Reece CROWTHER, 21. Marco ROJAS, 22. Andrew DURANTE, 23. Dylan MACALLISTER *one to be omitted*
In: Mirjan PAVLOVICH (promoted)
Out: Leo BERTOS (injured)
Unavailable: Paul IFILL (leg – five weeks), Mark PASTON (gk, knee – season), Jade NORTH (international duty – 1 week)

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