Finals football is at stake on Saturday night at ANZ Stadium as the Wanderers welcome Brisbane Roar to Western Sydney for the penultimate round of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season.
It’s the definition of a do-or-die clash for the Wanderers who know that a loss on Saturday night will signal the end of their finals football hopes.
Last week, Brisbane took advantage of the Wanderers’ 3-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park, leapfrogging the Red & Black into sixth spot on the ladder after a 1-0 win against Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium.
John Aloisi’s men now hold a two-point buffer over Josep Gombau’s side and will be keen to keep the Wanderers at bay ahead of a tricky away trip to Perth on the final day of the season.
The Wanderers will return here to ANZ Stadium next Sunday for their season closer against Adelaide United but will no doubt be looking any further than Saturday's challenge.
Heading into this fixture, the history of the two sides is split straight down the middle.
In the 21 league meetings between the pair, both sides have won seven games a piece to accompany the seven draws between the clubs.
The two teams can’t even be separated in the goals category, with both having scored 35 goals against one another.
It’s a theme that’s extended to this season, with the Roar claiming a 2-0 away win here at ANZ Stadium in the first meeting before it was the Wanderers’ turn to notch up a 2-0 away win at Suncorp Stadium in the second.
Last season, the Wanderers were knocked out of the finals by the Roar after a nail-biting penalty shootout and the Red & Black faithful will be desperate to extract a bit of revenge by denying the Queenslander’s a spot in this seasons finals series.
All in all, it sets up a blockbuster on Saturday night that promises to be as high-pressured as any match we’ve seen so far this season.