BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, October 19, 2012
Wellington Phoenix has started the A-League season strong but the New Zealand club will have their hands full when they host a powerful Brisbane Roar team at Westpac Stadium, on Saturday.
American midfielder Alex Smith will start for Wellington, where he has become an integral part of the team.
The Phoenix won their season opener when they cruised past Sydney FC. And, last weekend, they played to a hard fought draw with Melbourne Heart to earn their fourth point.
As a perennial contender in the A-League, Brisbane is widely expected to be in the running for the league title this year. Brisbane comes into Saturday's game off a lopsided 5-0 win over Melbourne Victory. Their attack is led by Albanian international Besart Berisha, who had two goals against Melbourne.
Brisbane Roar has a full squad while Wellington could be without their goalkeeper Mark Paston, who is struggling with a foot injury.