Roar ready to burst Wanderers' bubble
The battle-hardened Brisbane Roar believe they're primed to end the A-League's fairytale story on Friday night by exploiting Western Sydney's two-week break.
Despite the Wanderers' 12-match unbeaten streak, Roar coach Mike Mulvey says his defending champions enter their semi-final at Parramatta Stadium with better momentum than the premiers.
Brisbane have regained their confidence and spark thanks to three straight must-win victories - including a 2-1 play-off success in Adelaide on Sunday night when the Wanderers rested up.
Mulvey stressed the short five-day turnaround suited the Roar and predicted they were poised to rock Western Sydney early in the sudden-death encounter.
"We've proven we can back up from a five or four-day turnaround," he said.
"I believe it's 14 days since they last played and that's not an easy thing to do.
"So we've got a couple of ideas of how we might take advantage.
"It's not easy to suddenly kick-start your form and two weeks off is a long time in football so perhaps the first 15 minutes could be very important."
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic had no qualms with the break following their 3-0 final-round win in Newcastle, saying it couldn't be better timed to treat injuries and niggles.
"We've embraced the week off," he said. "It's helped us get a few bodies back which has been a bonus for us.
"The players recovered very well in the first week and we've picked up the intensity a little leading into this game."
The Roar, who lost all three matches to the Wanderers this season, couldn't take advantage in their last clash, leading 1-0 at halftime before falling 2-1 at home.
But Mulvey said Brisbane were defensively fragile in that January 20 meeting, which came just before Socceroos defender Jade North made his Roar debut, and they wouldn't concede so easily again.
Mulvey remains supremely confident Roar captain Thomas Broich will shrug off his heel injury to play after coming through a secret fitness test on Thursday morning.