Jade North of the Brisbane Roar.
Jade North of the Brisbane Roar. DAN PELED

Aloisi expects ailing Phoenix to be tough

BRISBANE Roar coach John Aloisi is still expecting a tough encounter against the Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night despite the Wellington club's recent run of poor form and absence of key players.

Wellington has not won in its past five games, including last week's 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Melbourne City, and will be missing Michael McGlinchey, who has a knee injury, and Gui Finkler, who has returned to Brazil on paternity leave.

The visitors will also be without Roly Bonevacia, Tom Doyle and Ryan Lowry, who have been dropped for an apparent breach of team protocol.

But Aloisi said there were still players in the Wellington team that could prove difficult to deal with.

"It doesn't interest me in terms of what goes on with other clubs in terms of individuals or why they're dropping players," he said.

"They're still a good side and they've got dangerous players.

"They've got (Roy) Krishna and (Kostas) Barbarouses who can cause us problems going forward, so we will not be taking them easy."

The Roar has injury problems of its own with Luke De Vere set to miss a month with a calf problem.

Aloisi said captain Matt McKay (broken nose) and key midfielder Thomas Kristensen (hamstring) would return to action.

The Roar won its only meeting this season against the Phoenix - a 1-0 victory at Westpac Stadium in January.

Brisbane has a strong record at Suncorp against Wellington, winning 11, drawing two and losing only one of the past 13 clashes at the venue.

Jade North will play his 100th A-League game for the Brisbane club.

News Corp Australia

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