This is the first time that Cairns has seen A-League in a competitive match, despite numerous pre-season games being taken to the city, and it’s the first time games have returned to the north since the demise of the Fury back in 2011.
Brisbane have been in Cairns since Wednesday acclimatising to the conditions and ingratiating themselves into the community. This experience is seen as a chance to enhance their reputation of the club for the entire state of Queensland and have undergone a host of promotional activities.
With the Phoenix only arriving late Thursday, this provides something of an advantage for the Roar, particularly given the game is kicking off in the afternoon as opposed to a friendlier night time kick-off.
As for the game itself, it promises to be an entertaining encounter between two attack-minded sides, if the round 3 clash between the two sides which produced five goals is anything to go by..
Brisbane enters the clash against Wellington on the back of a 3 game winless streak, but their football has suggested that they’ve been unlucky not to have picked up more points.
Earlier in the week, John Aloisi indicated his team needs to be more clinical in the final third given the chances which have been spurned in the past few weeks. One positive on that front is the form of Jamie Maclaren, whose netted in the past two games to take his tally to 5 for the season.
For Wellington they arrive after a win over the Victory on what was an extremely poor Auckland pitch, but they put in a solid performance with their attacking talent and counter attacking ability on show.
The form of imports Roy Krishna and Roly Bonevacia has continued from last season to this, with the duo the catalysts for the Nix’s recent run of form with the duo scoring 8 goals between them over the first 1/3 of the season.
Brisbane Roar- 3) Shane Stefanutto, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 10) Henrique, 11) Jean Carlos Solórzano, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 16) Devante Clut, 17) Matt McKay, 18) Javier Hervas, 19) Jack Hingert, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 28) Brandon Borrello, 36) Andre Jannese.
*Two to be omitted.
Wellington Phoenix- 1) Glen Moss, 2) Manny Muscat, 3) Justin Gulley, 4) Roly Bonevacia, 7) Jeffrey Sarpong, 8) Alex Rodriguez, 10) Michael McGlinchey, 12) Blake Powell, 13) Albert Riera, 14) Alex Rufer, 16) Louis Fenton, 18) Ben Sigmund, 19) Tom Doyle, 20) Lewis Italiano, 21) Roy Krishna, 22) Andrew Durante, 23) Matthew Ridenton.
*Two to be omitted.
Despite losing in Sydney last week, it’s unlikely that John Aloisi will make any changes to his starting side against Wellington. If he were to make a change, it would likely be to re-install Brandon Borrello back into the starting line-up in place of Henrique.
There will however be at least one change on the bench with Javier Hervas likely to replace Devante Clut in the side. The fit again Jean Carlos Solórzano could make the bench, however it’s also possible that they take a more cautious approach given his injury history. If he does make the bench, Lustica is the most likely to make way.
Expected Brisbane XI
Young, Hingert, Bowles, North, Stefanutto, Corona, McKay, Petratos, Broich, Henrique, Maclaren.
Subs- Jannese, Donachie, Lustica, Hervas, Borrello.
Omitted- Clut, Solórzano.
Wellington are unlikely to make massive changes to the side which performed so well against Victory last week, with Ben Sigmund replacing Manny Muscat likely to be the only change to their starting XI.
Expected Wellington XI
Moss, Fenton, Durante, Sigmund, Doyle, Muscat, Riera, Rodriguez, Bonevacia, McGlinchey, Krishna.
Subs- Italiano, Gulley, Rufer, Powell, Sarpong.
Brisbane: Jamie Maclaren (5)
Wellington: Roy Krishna, Roly Bonevacia (4)
2015/16 against Wellington Phoenix
Round 3: Wellington Phoenix 3-2 Brisbane Roar
All-Time Record against Wellington Phoenix