Brisbane’s loss to Newcastle exposed some of the A-League leaders’ weaknesses and Sydney FC plan on exploiting them in their Boxing Day clash at Allianz Stadium.
Despite dominating possession and creating more chances, the Roar were upset 2-0 by the Jets on Friday.
And with their main attacking weapon Bersart Berisha ruled out the clash with a hip complain, the Sky Blues will be looking to take advantage of a more vulnerable Roar.
Sydney will be sweating in the fitness of their own key forward, skipper Alessandro Del Piero, with Brett Emerton also hopeful of coming back after both missed last week’s 1-0 loss away to Wellington.
The 39-year-old Italian has been battling back and hamstring issues in recent weeks, while Emerton has been fighting a back problem and muscle tightness since the start of the year.
Coach Frank Farina will wait until the day before the match to make a call on the pair’s availability, but says he’s confident both will be fit.
And having pinpointed the attack as the problem area in their loss to Phoenix, Farina will be hoping to have the two veterans’ composure and experience back.
“We’ve identified where we went wrong and I think we let ourselves down in the final third,” he said.
“We made some wrong decisions, some bad passes and then we got caught on the counter … but hopefully can correct it for Thursday.”
The last time the two sides clashed Sydney were humiliated 4-0 at Suncorp Stadium.
But Sky Blues playmaker Nicky Carle says assistant coach Rado Vidosic, who had the same role at the Roar under Ange Postecoglou for three years, will identify Brisbane’s weak spots to make sure they can reverse the result.
“In this league everyone has their weaknesses, even the leaders,” Carle told AAP.
“Rado will sit us down for a video session and show us where we can exploit them, but we’ll keep that one to ourselves.
“They’re a very good footballing side, but there’s always a weakness here or there and we’re going to make sure we can exploit it.”
Victory will lift the Sky Blues to third on the ladder and Carle is hoping Sydney can maintain their strong home record this season to keep them within the top six.
“Consistently over the season Roar have been the best side, so it will be a big ask for us, but we’re up to it,” he said.
“We’ve only had one loss at home so we’re be looking for nothing less than three points to climb up that ladder again.”