Ahead of their A-League Semi Final clash with the Melbourne Victory, Jamie Maclaren previews what is sure to be an outstanding match and gives his insight into the battle of two marksman.

In his three seasons at the club, one forward hit 48 goals and led the team to one Premiership and two Championships. His heir apparent, in his debut season at the Roar, has scored 18 goals. The questions aimed at him at yesterday’s press conference ahead of their clash were always likely to focus on the battle between the two forwards who have scored 35 goals between them this season.

“We are both goal scorers and hopefully I can end up on top tomorrow night,” Jamie Maclaren says of the Victory’s Besart Berisha. Whilst both score goals, for Maclaren they are very different players. “He is better coming to the ball and I make my runs in behind.”

Whilst it may be a clash of styles both will no doubt be pivotal and feed off what the former Perth Glory forward describes as an ‘electric atmosphere’ at Suncorp Stadium. “I can see why Bes scored a lot of goals at Suncorp, it is a great stadium, the fans are great, the pitch is good. That helps me with the players behind me that can play those through balls, and it is big pitch so that suits me.”

With a big crowd likely, Maclaren said he was hoping that would give his side the edge over the reigning Champions. “Our fans are amazing and it shows why we have had the best home record in the league. Hopefully it is a bigger crowd than usual and they definitely do lift us.”

On the training pitch the work has been intense. “We have worked a lot on the way they play, they will probably play with the same line-up and the way they play,” said the forward. “It is not going to be easy. It is going to be a great game and both teams want to win.”

Equally present in his mind is the fact that their are no second chances. Lose and you “go home.” To ensure this moment is seized, Maclaren said the likes of experienced players such as Matt McKay and Jade North had been pivotal. “We know it is a one off game and it is one of those when you have to give everything because you don’t know if it is going to be your last game of the season. We have big game players, experienced players in this dressing room who have been there before and have given that advice to us young boys and tomorrow we’ll just give it our all.”

Despite failing to capitalise on their opportunities in last week’s 0-0 draw with the Victory, Maclaren said he is confident that there would be no repeat. “I have done some stuff by myself but even in the cage games the boys have been scoring goals and that has been the main focus as the performance last week was fantastic, we just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.”

Tonight looms a battle between two outstanding teams and two outstanding forwards. For Maclaren, the winner is simple – “whoever has the shooting boots on wins.” Here’s to a hell of a game.