A-League Finals: Brisbane Roar vs Western Sydney Wanderers – We ask the...

A-League Finals: Brisbane Roar vs Western Sydney Wanderers – We ask the fans

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Nearly a year after their thrilling 5-4 semi-final in Parramatta, Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers resume hostilities at Suncorp Stadium in 2017’s first A-League final on Friday night. 

A Brisbane win will book a date with Melbourne Victory next week, while a Wanderers success sets up a Sydney Derby.

To gauge the feeling among the fans, we spoke to representatives from the clubs’ unofficial fan channels, Brisbane Football Review and Red & Black Football.

In the Brisbane camp is James Caughlin, and on the flip side is Patrick Staveley.

READ MORE: A-League Finals: Melbourne City vs Perth Glory – We ask the fans

Outside90: There’s been some intense matchups between Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers in the past. What’s your favourite?

James Caughlin: It is hard to go past the 2014 grand final, the noise of the afternoon (aided by the 6,000 or so travelling Wanderers fans) was great. Having seen a number of comebacks over the years I was still optimistic that the Roar would equalise and of course it was Thomas Broich and Besart Berisha combining for that goal. Then Henrique won a header against a guy a head taller than him and managed to rifle the winner into the roof of the net.

O90: Sum up Wanderers fans in a word?

JC: Contradictory.

O90: Which Western Sydney player is the biggest threat to your chances?

JC: Nico Martinez, if he gets matched up with the fill in Roar right back, be it Cameron Crestani, Jade North or Dane Ingham, and can take advantage of his situation he might manage to take over the game.

Brisbane Football Review – Part of the Outside90 Fan Network

O90: Who is a liability Brisbane can exploit?

JC: I feel like the full-backs can be taken advantage of, particularly with the strength the Roar have in their wingers.

O90: What do you think has most improved under John Aloisi this season?

JC: Corey Brown by far, plenty of fans were ready to kick him to the curb but his improvement has been massive this season.

O90: Give your season so far a mark out of 10?

JC: Probably a 7, they have been alright and are coming into form at the right time but there have been too many draws that should have been wins.

O90: How would you line up on Friday?

JC: (4-2-3-1): Theo, North, DeVere, Papadopolus, Brown, Kristensen, Caletti, Borrello, Holman, Broich, Maclaren.

The only concern is the absence of Jack Hingert and who takes his place, other than that it is a full strength team.

O90: What’s your score prediction?

JC: Roar to win 3-2, they haven’t lost a finals game at Suncorp yet and I don’t expect that to change on Friday.

O90: How far do the Roar go this finals series?

JC: Beat the Wanderers on Friday then, as much as I am hoping they can beat the Victory, the fact they are travelling back from a Champions League game in Thailand makes me think it will be a game too many for the side so they will go down there.

O90: Describe each of the following in a word:

JC: Tony Popovic – Brown

Mitch Nichols – Who?

Nico Martinez – Dangerous

Brendon Santalab – Old


Outside90: There’s been some intense matchups between Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers in the past. What’s your favourite?

Patrick Staveley: Easily last year’s semi. We thought we were gone after 25 minutes or so but we fought back in the most incredible way. I don’t think there’s been a better game in the A-League ever than the 5-4 victory. If only we’d went to win the Grand Final the week after.

O90: Sum up Roar fans in a word?

PS: Dedicated. They’ve been through some controversial times within the club in the last couple of seasons and have continued to support the players. Always travelled to Parramatta in big numbers.

O90: Which Roar player is the biggest threat to your chances?

PS: Brett Holman. The man is in red hot form and scored two long shots on the weekend so we need to keep him in check.

Red & Black Football – Part of the Outside90 Fan Network

O90: Who is a liability Western Sydney can exploit?

PS: Their team is pretty strong but I think Jade North has lost some pace with his age that Jumpei and Martinez and Sotirio off the bench can exploit.

O90: What do you think has improved in the latter stages of the season?

PS: Our team has been consistent and allowed certain combinations to flourish. Antonis and Baccus have played brilliantly in central midfield and their build-up play is immensely underrated.

O90: Give your season so far a mark out of 10?

PS: 6.5/10. Too many draws equal a rather frustrating campaign to follow-up such a promising 2015-16 season. It’s fantastic that we’ve shown some backbone and form at the crucial stages of the season and hopefully we can continue that this Friday.

O90: How would you line up on Friday?

PS: Same line-up that’s been getting results. Janjetovic; Neville, Cornthwaite, Aspro, Clisby; Antonis, Baccus; Jumpei, Nichols, Martinez; Santalab. Sotirio and Lustica to make impacts off bench.

O90: What’s your score prediction?

PS: 2-1 to the Wanderers.

O90: How far do the Wanderers go this finals series?

PS: I think if we get through to the semi-finals against Sydney and we win that then there’s no way we will lose the final. There will be so much momentum that we should finally get our first title. However I think we will win this Friday but Sydney will be too strong the following week.

O90: Describe each of the following in a word:

PS: John Aloisi – Unpredictable

Jamie Maclaren – Poacher

Avraam Papadopoulos – Solid

Matt McKay – Influential

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