Drawing blanks … Brisbane's Thomas Broich tussles with Jeronimo Neumann in Sunday's loss to Adelaide United. Photo: Getty Images
ADELAIDE UNITED have pulled two points clear of the Central Coast Mariners on top of the A-League ladder with a surprise 1-0 win against Brisbane.
It's the Roar's second straight defeat at home and the two-time reigning champions, under new coach Rado Vidosic, languish at eighth on the table.
Round five ends on Monday night when Melbourne Victory host Wellington, and the Victory say they won't be caught out by the A-League's surprise packets.
That's because they rate Wellington Phoenix highly, and are wary of a side defeated just once in four matches this season and peering down at the Victory on the congested ladder.
''They've done well, they always do well,'' Victory's ex-Phoenix winger Marco Rojas said. ''They're a good team. They've been together a long time so they know each other in and out and you can see that on the pitch. They work hard for each other.''
The Phoenix have beaten the Victory only twice in 15 meetings, never beaten them in Melbourne, and the Victory have won the past three times they've played.
But much of that pain was inflicted in previous years when the Phoenix struggled on the road - something a 1-1 draw when understrength against Melbourne Heart in week two suggests could be improving.
The Victory, still adjusting to life under new coach Ange Postecoglou, have lost three of their first four.
Talented New Zealander Rojas admits taking on his former club does carry extra significance.
''I want to perform probably a little bit better against my old teammates, but it is just like another normal game where we are aiming for the three points,'' he said. ''So I will prepare for it like any other game and hopefully we get a few people there and we get a bit of an atmosphere going.''
The Phoenix will be without reliable defender Ben Sigmund, sent off against Adelaide United for the controversial Jeronimo Neumann diving incident last weekend.
They have a replacement in All Whites centre back Michael Boxall, who starred against the Heart in his last visit to Melbourne.
Victory's Brazilian midfielder Gui Finkler is rated a good chance to play after missing last weekend's match with a groin strain.