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Peacock's Grand Final preview

by Adam Peacock on Apr 19, 2012

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Rightly so, Brisbane are clear favourites to win the Grand Final on Sunday.

Over 2 years, they have raised the standard of the competition. A legacy all can enjoy.

Yet therein lies the problem for Sunday – the competition is won on Sunday, not on legacy, reputation or the previous whatever.

Sure, they’ll have help, heaving from the stands.

There will be 50,000 screaming Queenslanders there. Most of the time, each separate Queenslander thinks it is the most parochial species in the nation. Multiply that self-assessment by 50,000 and it won’t be too comfortable for those in purple.

Another favourable for the home side – Perth’s long road to this point. You think good on ‘em, what an effort.... to get this far.

And herein lies a reason why Perth can cause a monumental upset. Keep the run going, defy popular opinion and 50,000 Queenslanders – big match experience.

Assuming Ian Ferguson picks the same starting 11 as he has for the last 2 victories, 9 of them will knows exactly what to do when butterflies start faffing about in the pit of their stomachs.

Danny Vukovic has played in 2 Grand Finals. Think he might realise how to keep his emotions in check given the last one.

Dean Heffernan has played in a GF, and played twice for the Socceroos, while Steve Pantelidis won a decider with Melbourne Victory.

Bas van den Brink knows a winning, big game culture – on the books with Utrecht in Holland when they were winning KNVB Cups.

Go the midfield, where the game will be controlled, and you’ve got players who know about big occasions.

Jacob Burns – played in the Premier League and 11 times for Australia.
Billy Mehmet – played in a Scottish League Cup final against Rangers in front of 45,000 at Hampden Park.
Travis Dodd – 2 A League GF’s, one has captain, plus a Champions league decider, also as captain.
Liam Miller – 21 caps for Ireland, played for Manchester united and also in Old Firm and Tyne-Wear Derby’s, where if you take a 3rd touch, you’ll also take home a momento of a 6-stud imprint on your ankle.

And up front, Shane Smeltz, who amongst his 37 caps for his country, scored against Italy in a World Cup. And he chips to open penalty shootouts.

That leaves Andrezinho and Josh Risdon. They’ve both got flash haircuts. Dudes with Mohawks don’t bottle it, do they?

Sitting there up close last Saturday at Bluetounge, there was only one winner in that second half – Central Coast. Yet Glory found a way. Had luck, but held on and held nerve when it really mattered.

Brisbane, when firing, at full tilt and in total unison are almost impossible to contain.

But Perth won’t be overawed* by the occasion.

* Neglecting a perfect opportunity to misspell a word there all in the name of a pun. I can’t do it. It’s not how to cover yourself in Glory. Sh*t.

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If you can’t get to the game on Sunday, have a look at Fox from 1.30pm EST.

We’ve got a full day of A League celebration – first up 2 half hour specials – the A League Greatest Goals and re-live the 2011 decider.

Then at 2.30pm, a 90 minute pre-game with interviews, insight from Rudes, Bozza and Robbie, a special feature on Thomas Broich and heaps more.

Then kickoff from 4 with Simon, Harps and Mel pitchside, then of course all the celebrations post game.

The perfect Sunday BBQ viewing. If you keep your glass half full ;)