Boxing day A-League action comes to Allianz Stadium tonight as Sydney FC host table topping Brisbane Roar. With both sides coming off the back of disappointing defeats, this encounter comes at a crucial stage of the season as the run-in comes into sight.
Alessandro Del Piero and Brett Emerton look set to play for Sydney after missing the game on Sunday in Wellington. Both players have had their season disrupted by niggling injuries, and while they have been named in the provisional squad to face Brisbane, a final decision is likely to be left until the last possible moment.
The Sky Blues certainly need a boost if the display in Wellington is anything to go by. While much is made of Sydney’s record without Del Piero in the side, they should have beaten the Phoenix had the likes of Despotovic and Chianese been more clinical in front of goal.
The Roar were flying until the shock loss at home to Newcastle on Friday night. Despite this setback they still look to be the best side in the competition, but a second successive defeat will raise some questions about their ability to fend off the chasing pack.
The loss of Beshart Berisha to a hip injury is a huge blow to Mike Mulvey’s side. Henrique is the man most likely to replace Berisha in attack, while Jade North is also in line to come back into the defence after a minor injury. Kwame Yeboah has been named in the squad in what will be one of his last games for the Roar before a transfer to Germany.
Thursday 26th December, Allianz Stadium Moore Park 19:30
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar