Date – Sunday 2 April 2017
Time –7:00PM (Local) (7:00PM (AEST))
Venue – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
A rejuvenated Brisbane side must win to ensure a top four spot but won’t have it all their own way against a Mariners outfit desperate to avoid back-to-back wooden spoons.
Brisbane Roar FC squad:
3.Luke DEVERE, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 13.Jade NORTH (c), 15.ARANA, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Joe CALETTI, 43.Tomislav BILIC (gk), 46.Cameron CRESTANI
**two to be omitted**
15.ARANA (promoted), 46.Cameron CRESTANI (promoted)
Nil Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (gk) (suspended – 1 match), 4.Daniel BOWLES (knee – season), 11.Tommy OAR (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 17.Matt MCKAY (knee – 4-6 weeks), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (ankle – 2 weeks)
Central Coast Mariners squad:
1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX (c), 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 26.Steve WHYTE, 27.Lachlan WALES
**two to be omitted**
26.Steve WHYTE (promoted), 27.Lachlan WALES (promoted), 21.Michael NEILL (promoted)
8.Nick MONTGOMERY (suspended – 1 match)
4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (quad – 1 week), 6.Blake POWELL (knee – 3 weeks), 10.Mickael TAVARES (ankle – indefinite), 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)
Brisbane’s crucial win over Melbourne Victory last weekend has bolstered their hopes of locking in a top-four finish. Roar now enjoys a four-point buffer over fifth-placed Perth heading into the final three games.
With two of those at their fortress Suncorp Stadium – starting with the visit of the Mariners – John Aloisi’s side should secure enough points to earn a home final in the opening week of the playoffs.
While they have alternated between a win and a loss over the last month, Roar has a dominant recent record against Central Coast.
Brisbane has won the last seven clashes between the two clubs. It doesn’t augur well for a Mariners side now in danger of finishing with the wooden spoon for a second straight season.
Last weekend’s 3-2 loss against Adelaide United has seen the Reds leapfrog Paul Okon’s troops off the bottom of the ladder.
With an F3 Derby and a final round trip to Melbourne Victory to follow the Roar clash, the Mariners will need to call on all their resolve to avoid the dreaded timber utensil.
And their record outside NSW won’t fill them with any great confidence either.
The Mariners have won just two of their last 22 matches outside of their home state.
Roar have dominated this fixture in recent times, scoring an astonishing 12 goals in the last three meetings with the Mariners in Brisbane.
And in Jamie Maclaren they have a striker in red-hot form.
The Caltex Socceroos attacker has contributed seven of Roar’s last 10 goals, underlining his importance to their title hopes.
While most of his 15 goals this season have come inside the box, his eye-catching winner against Victory shows he can pull off the spectacular as well.
Aloisi will be looking to get a bit more consistency from the likes of Broich, Holman and Borrello from here on in.
The trio have all shown their quality throughout this season but if Roar is to seriously challenge the likes of Victory and Sydney FC, they’ll need to give more support and service to Maclaren.
The Mariners have struggled for goals for most of the season, with the exception of Irishman Roy O’Donovan.
The striker – who has been linked with a move away – has 11 for the campaign. But with the next best contributor Fabio Ferreira managing just three, Okon hasn’t been able to find the right mix to add to their attacking arsenal.
It’s at the other end where Central Coast have had their issues, especially on the road.
They have conceded an average of three goals per match in their last 10 games outside of NSW.
Jamie Maclaren. Hasn’t let the disappointment of missing Caltex Socceroos selection get him down. ‘Macca’s’ winner against Victory made it seven goals in his last six outings in the Hyundai A-League and back in contention for the Hyundai A-League golden boot.
FORM LINES (last five games)
Mariners: LDLLL PREDICTION
Brisbane Roar 3-1 Central Coast Mariners