Brisbane v Melbourne Victory – (Friday 7:40pm) The biggest story heading into this one is the reduced suspension to Besart Berisha which will allow him to take the field in this one. He was initially suspended for two weeks but the Disciplnary Committee reduced the ban to just one game following a mid week hearing. It is a huge boost for the defending champions and will give Kevin Muscat’s side a much needed boost. They will also draw plenty of confidence from the 0-0 draw against the Roar last week in Melbourne. A win would have handed Brisbane the Premiers Plate and a week off but the draw saw them fall to third and they must now win 3 on the hop to be crowned champions. They were the dominant side without winning last week and will get the advantage of a big crowd at Suncorp Stadium for this one. They have a significant edge in the front half of the field. McKay and Corona compliment one another perfectly in the centre of the park. McKay is the work horse while Corona is the architect who looks to release the wide men in Broich, Oar and Petratos. From there they have one of the most clinical finishers in the A-League in Jamie MacLaren. The Victory will look for Delpierre to lead them from the back with Jason Geria’s battle against Broich also key if they are to cause an upset. Can’t see Finkler and Bozanic winning the midfield battle which means Berisha and Khalfallah will not get enough ball to cause the Roar enough problems. Brisbane have been the better of the two all season and this is the time when the cream rises to the top. Melbourne to fall well short in an attempt to defend their title.
Melbourne City v Perth – (Sunday 5:00pm)They were two of the hottest teams in the closing stages but both are coming off disappointing losses last week. The Glory were riding a 5 game winning streak when they faced a Sydney FC side who had nothing to play for. Graham Arnold’s men certainly didn’t get the memo as they dismantled Perth 4-0. The news wasn’t much better for City who fell behind early and were unable to turn things around in what was a very physical encounter against Adelaide. Things hit boiling point at half time and City will be without Novillo who was suspended for 2 games. The three meetings between the pair this season have been absolute thrillers. There have been a total of 15 goals in the 3 matches and at least 4 in each of them. The combination of Mooy and Fornaroli will again hold the key for the hosts while for Perth it is all about that man Andy Keogh. The Glory tend to be a bit more one dimensional and at their best the edge has to lie with City despite losing their last two. Both sides know only one way – full throttle attack. These are the top two attacks in the A-League in terms of goals scored so keep your eyes locked on the screen in this one. With everything on the line they will be going all out in this one. Shootout!