The irrepressible league leaders meet a side who absolutely hate losing to them.
In four matches between the Roar and the Fury, there has been three draws so far, indicating that the Townsville club get themselves up whenever they are on the pitch against the orange shirts.
When Brisbane hosted the Fury back on November 20, I tipped a comfortable triumph to the home side but the underrated North Queensland side toughed it out for a 1-1 draw.
They will take plenty of confidence from that outing along with their narrow 1-0 victory over Sydney FC during the week which helped them climb off the bottom of the table.
But we must remember that the Roar have not been beaten in 16 matches and have won four from six on the road since early November.
Double that with the fact that the squad will only be strengthened by the return of Shane Stefanutto, Massimo Murdocca and Matt Mundy and the championship favourites will have everything in their favour to record yet another win.
Verdict: Roar 2-1
North Queensland Fury vs. Brisbane Roar
Date: Saturday, 18 December 2010
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
Local kick-off: 8:15pm (9.15pm AEDT)
Referee: Peter Green
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 4): North Queensland Fury wins 0, Brisbane Roar wins 1 (3 draws)
Match fact: Having not lost any of their past 16 matches (maintaining a new Hyundai A-League record for longest undefeated streak), the Brisbane Roar are now aiming to go for 17 undefeated matches, which would be the longest undefeated streak in Australian national league history in over 23 years, when APIA Leichhardt ultimately went for 22 matches in a row without defeat in the 1987 NSL season.
North Queensland Fury squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2. Jack HINGERT, 3. Brad McDONALD, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 7. Gareth EDDS, 8. Adam CASEY, 10. Dyron DAAL, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 15. Chris PAYNE, 16. Simon STOREY, 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO, 24. Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLU, 28. Sebastian USAI (gk) *two to be omitted*
In: Adam CASEY (promoted), Chris GROSSMAN (promoted)
Out: Osama MALIK (hamstring – awaiting scan results)
Unavailable: Eric AKOTO (knee – 2 weeks), Andre KILIAN (ankle – 2 weeks), Isaka CERNAK (knee – 2 weeks), Matthew HAM (knee – out for the season)
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, 11. REINALDO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 15. Matt McKAY (c) 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21. James MEYER, 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK *four to be omitted*
In: Shane STEFANUTTO (returns from injury), Massimo MURDOCCA (returns from injury), Matt MUNDY (promoted)
Unavailable: HENRIQUE (broken arm – 1-2 weeks)