The five most important stats going into the grand final

Heading into Sunday's blockbuster A-League grand final The World Game takes a look at the key facts and figures which could play a major role in this season's decider

A-League grand final

Alex Brosque and Besart Berisha Source: Getty Images

7% - James Troisi's strike rate this season

The Victory midfielder has taken more shots at goal than any other player who will be involved in the grand final to record a miserly goals to shots average of only 7%. Of his 90 shots in 25 games this season, 24 have been on target with only six hitting the back of the net.

He likes shooting from outside the box and has scored three times in open play from there, plus another from a free kick, but too often he has blasted the ball over the bar.

Troisi's strike rate falls well below the other attacking stars expected to play in Sunday's Grand Final.

Besart Berisha 20 goals this season has come from only 69 shots to go into the Grand Final with a strike rate of 29%. Victory winger Marco Rojas has a strike rate of 27% with figures of 12 goals from 44 shots in 24 games.

Alex Brosque has the best conversion rate of Sydney FC's attackers with 20%. The Sky Blues captain has scored 11 goals from 55 shots. Bobo's 15 goals from 80 shots gives him a strike rate of 19%, while Jonny Warren Medal winner Milos Ninkovic's also has a 19% strike rate with nine goals from 47 shots.

Troisi has had a great season in the playmaking department, good enough to get him back in the Socceroos, but his shooting has let him down and could prove to be a liability in the decider

13 matches - Sydney FC's undefeated record at Allianz Stadium

You can't ignore it. The Sky Blues have played 13 times at Allianz Stadium this season for 11 wins and two draws. Two of those wins have come against Victory. Sydney's other home game was at ANZ Stadium, where they drew 1-1 with Melbourne City.

When Victory beat Sydney in the grand final two years ago, they went in with a home record of six wins, one draw and one loss at AAMI Park, five wins and one draw at Etihad Stadium and one loss in a game the club took to Geelong.

They were way too good in the decider at AAMI Park, beating Sydney 3-0. Home-ground advantage is huge.

5 games - Besart Berisha's goal drought against Sydney FC

Berisha has a tremendous record in grand finals. He has played in three of them - two for Brisbane Roar and one for Victory - winning all three and scoring four goals in the process. He is surely one of the greatest big-game players in A-League history.

But the Albanian will need to reverse a poor run in front of goal against the Sky Blues, having failed to score in any of Victory's three regular-season games against Sydney this season, with Graham Arnold's side winning all three matches. The last time he found the net against the Sky Blues was in November 2015 in round six of the 2015-2016 season - a five-game drought for the A-League's premier striker against his team's grand final opponents!

Berisha has scored at least once against each of the other eight teams this season and wasn't short of chances against his grand final opponents, missing a sitter in one game and a penalty in another.

1 - The number of Sydney FC's losses this season

The only other team to suffer only one defeat during an A-League season is the Brisbane Roar side of 2010-2011, and they went on to win the grand final.

Ange Postecoglou's Brisbane played 30 games leading up to the finals for 18 wins, 11 draws, one loss and 65 points. They scored 58 goals and conceded 26 to win the Premier's Plate by eight points.

Sydney this season has played 27 games for 20 wins, six draws, one loss and 66 points. They had 55 goals for and conceded just 12, romping home with the plate by 17 points.

13 wins - The number of grand final victories among Melbourne Victory's squad

From their expected match-day squad, Victory players have 14 grand final appearances between them for 13 wins.

That is mainly courtesy of their win over Sydney two years ago, when Leigh Broxham, Besart Berisha, Lawrence Thomas, Nick Ansell, Daniel Georgievski, Carl Valeri, Fahid Ben-Khalfallah, Jason Geria and Rashad Mahazi all played.

Berisha (three) and Broxham (two) are their multiple grand final winners.

The players who are expected to be in the Sydney squad (Bernie Ibini is tipped to miss through injured and Seb Ryall has been out for most of the season) have 14 grand final appearances between them for just two wins - to Alex Brosque and David Carney.

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5 min read
Published 5 May 2017 at 1:03pm
By Greg Prichard
Source: SBS