Plenty at stake for Sydney clash

Brisbane Roar will have plenty of reason to take it to Sydney in the ‘State of Origin’ clash at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, with the top of the table still in sight despite yesterday’s loss against Perth.

Brisbane Roar will have plenty of reason to take it to Sydney in the ‘State of Origin- clash at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, with the top of the table still in sight despite yesterday-s loss against Perth.

Following their win over Newcastle, the Blues share top spot with Gold Coast United but are just four points above Brisbane in a Hyundai A-League ladder which remains as tight as ever.

Brisbane will hope to inject a bit of experience back into the defensive line for the blockbuster clash with the potential return of Andrew Packer and Danny Tiatto from injury.

Tiatto (groin) is the more likely of the two to return against Sydney but Packer (adductor) said there was no shortage of motivation to get back onto the pitch in time to face his former club.

“It-s a big game for us and we-re going to be doing everything we can to get the three points,” the Ipswich-born defender said.

“We-ve been unlucky not to get a couple more wins and to be honest we should be right up there with the couple of draws that we-ve had when we should-ve come away with wins.

“It-s the first time we-re playing them this year and I think it-s important we play well.

“Especially when they-re top of the table, we want to claw some points back after losing three points yesterday.”

Packer will be monitored closely at training this week, all too aware of the dangers of a premature return.

“It-s not 100 per cent yet but I-m hoping it will be this week,” he said. “It-s one of those ones where I-ve just got make sure it-s as close to 100 per cent as possible before I get out there.

“Mentally I feel like I-m ready to go, it-s just a matter of keeping myself switched on and staying focused on what we need to achieve.”

Although Brisbane were undefeated in five games before yesterday-s loss against Perth Glory, Packer said the regular turnover in personnel had made it difficult for the team to maintain momentum.

The mainstay defender sang the praises of stand-in full backs Ivan Franjic and Calum O-Connell - in his senior debut - but said it was important the team could build a consistent line-up.

“At the end of the day it was going to be a tough game (against Perth) because we had so many changes,” he said.

“The whole chemistry of the team changes a bit and it makes a difference, it really does.

“We haven-t gone with the same team from one week to another and really that-s how you win championships - you go with the same team for maybe three, four or five games in a row.”

Brisbane Roar-s match against Sydney FC kicks off at 3pm, Sunday at Suncorp Stadium. Tickets are available through Ticketek, click here for details.