The battle for points and finals spots in the A-League heats up with Wellington Phoenix travelling to Brisbane Roar in the last game of round 21. We’ll have live scores and commentary right here from 5.00pm AEDT.
Eighth-placed Brisbane, fresh off a heartbreaking loss in Thailand on Wednesday night in an Asian Champions League qualifier, will be gunning to secure the three points required to bring them closer to sixth place and a finals spot.
Wellington, just one point behind Brisbane, is struggling with a negative 15 goal differential and will need a dramatic turnaround in order to save their season, and perhaps the comeback will start tonight.
Both teams haven’t looked strong lately, with the Phoenix being roughed-up last week against the Mariners, losing 5-0.
Brisbane also lost their last A-League match against Sydney 2-1, then lost on penalties to Thai champions Buriram United, dropping out of the ACL in the process.
Brisbane was also the site of the last clash between these two teams, which the Roar won 2-1 thanks to a stellar performance from Thomas Broich.
The Roar had ten shots on target in that game, forcing All Whites keeper Mark Paston into seven saves (he now leads the league with 61 total saves).
Since their last game seven weeks ago, both teams have only won once in this competition, streaks that included three consecutive losses.
One positive (at least, for Roar fans) is that forward Besart Berisha has scored three times in two weeks and was on the scoresheet last time they faced Wellington.
The hope for Wellington fans might be found in new loan signing Corey Gameiro after it was reported he will play out the rest of the season for Wellington, imported from Fulham via Dutch club FC Eindhoven.
Gameiro has also capped for the Australian Under-21 side, and will be needed as top goalscorer Jeremy Brockie is suspended for this match.
Wellington coach Ricki Herbert is definitely on the hot seat after calls from former All Whites to replace him, and Herbert seems to be the prime target after last-placed Perth Glory removed coach Ian Ferguson earlier this week.
Herbert has been the coach since the club’s inception in 2007 and has taken them to three straight finals appearances.
No prizes for whom to keep your eye on in this game. Besart Berisha (Brisbane) leads his team with 11 goals and nobody else on the pitch has more than three goals next to their name.
Also expect a fine sample of goalkeeping with the A-League’s top two keepers (in terms of saves) between the posts tonight.
Weather prediction is for a fine summer’s afternoon with no chance of rain and a moderate breeze, so select your preferred beverage and enjoy this fixture by following us right here.