Friday’s A-League 2017 Elimination Finals match is between Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers. The opening kick off is set to commence at 19:57 local time with the game to be played at Suncrop Stadium. View our preview and teams for the game between Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Roar will enjoy home ground advantage in this Elimination Final, which is a huge boost for John Aloisi’s side who have a great record at Suncorp.
With last year’s 5-4 finals loss to the Wanderers still fresh in their minds, Brisbane will be out for revenge.
It was one of the A-League’s most memorable games with the Roar leading 3-0 after only 23 minutes before eventually losing the match in extra time.
Players often use previous games as motivation for revenge and this will certainly drive Brisbane in this match.
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic was under fire earlier in the season, but has since guided his team to another finals series and will be motivated to prove the doubters wrong.
Popovic rested key players in the final round of the A-league, so he’ll have a fresh squad to pick from.
Momentum is key in finals football and Western Sydney have enjoyed their best form of the season in recent weeks, so they’ll be a real threat.
KEY BATTLE: Jamie Maclaren v Brendon Santalab
Maclaren finished the regular season level with Besart Berisha on 19 goals.
He scored in their 4-3 win over Wellington last weekend and is full of confidence leading into this big clash.
Wanderers don’t lose when Santalab scores. He has netted in nine games this season with the Wanderers winning six and drawing three.
He’s Western Sydney’s player of the year after scoring 14 goals in total.
He has been the main man in their push for a finals spot and will again be key here.
Despite some very even matches between the two sides this year, the Wanderers have been unable to secure a win.
They’ve played twice at Suncorp this season losing 2-1 in January, while it finished 1-1 back in December.
It will be a case of third time lucky with the Wanderers coming out on top.
Brisbane Roar at $2.25
Draw at $3.55
Western Sydney Wanderers at $3.20
Tip: Brisbane Roar at $2.25
Value Bet: First Goalscorer: N D’Agostino at $8.50
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 11.Tommy OAR, 13.Jade NORTH (c), 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 25.Kye ROWLES, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Joe CALETTI, 46.Cameron CRESTANI.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Steven LUSTICA, 8.DIMAS (c), 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 23.Lachlan SCOTT, 24.Terry ANTONIS.
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NRL sets tentative $9m cap for 2018
The never-ending speculation surrounding the NRL’s player market is set to kick into overdrive with clubs being given a tentative salary-cap figure for the 2018 season.
In the same week the likes of Aaron Woods, James Tedesco and Kieran Foran reportedly committed to rival clubs, the governing body directed all 16 franchises to work off a figure proposed last month to the players’ union.
While the collective bargaining talks are still in the embryonic stage, the NRL has tabled an offer of $9.14 million for each club to spend on their playing roster.
The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) said it had been made aware of correspondence sent to clubland on Thursday night from league central.
“Our understanding is that the clubs have been directed to comply with a salary-cap figure that was set out in the NRL’s proposal of 30 March 2017,” a RLPA spokesperson said.
“From the RLPA’s point of view, the salary-cap figure for 2018 and beyond must be agreed through the collective negotiation process.”
The union is adamant the final figure has yet to be agreed to.
“We are in the process of preparing our response to the NRL’s initial offer, which will include a proposed salary-cap amount,” the spokesperson said.
The development is sure to finally add some traction to an intentionally crowded player market, as agents seek to take advantage of the new broadcast deal.
Jarryd Hayne, Cooper Cronk, Darius Boyd, Anthony Milford, Paul Gallen, Shaun Johnson, Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Josh Dugan are among the big names off-contract.