New Brisbane Roar coach Warren Moon reckons Melbourne City boast the best strike force in the A-League but says his own team's stability could prove to be a major weapon this season.
The Roar's season kicks off on Tuesday night when they host last season's runners-up at Redcliffe's Dolphin Stadium.
City boast a formidable front three featuring last season's golden boot winner Jamie Maclaren, Socceroos striker Andrew Nabbout and English assist king Craig Noone.
Brisbane's strike force will again be led by 37-year-old Scott McDonald, who scored seven goals last season.
Former Japan international Masato Kudo will bolster Brisbane's attack but he only cleared quarantine on Boxing Day and won't feature in their season opener.
City are second favourites to win the title behind Sydney FC, while in contrast the Roar are tipped to miss the finals despite bucking the odds to finish fourth last in 2020.
Moon said City are good all over the park but there's one area in particular where his men will have to be alert.
"I think their front three are probably the pick of the league in terms of what they've got up front," Moon said.
"They've got two Socceroos and a former English Premier League player."
One thing the Roar have in their favour is cohesion - with most of their rivals having made mass changes to their rosters during the off-season.
"Whilst other sides are making signings and it looks good for them, they're trying to create a spine. We've got our spine," Moon said.
"That's where we're lucky.
"We've had the core group of our squad remain and that continuity we believe is going to help us going into the season."
Roar will start as underdogs but new City coach Patrick Kisnorbo is taking nothing for granted.
"Look, I don't really listen to what people say about expectations, because I think one person last season said we wouldn't make the six and we finished second," Kisnorbo said.
"So, I don't really listen to what people have to say.
"We'll respect Brisbane Roar because at the end of the day they're a good side with good players and a good coach."
City's last trek to Dolphin Stadium to play Brisbane was a pulsating contest, with the Roar coming from 3-1 down to post a fighting 4-3 win.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Brisbane have won eight of their past 12 A-League games at home against Melbourne City (W8, D2, L2).
* City's Craig Noone made 38 successful crosses in open play last season - the most by any player and more than double any of his teammates.
* Roar's Jay O'Shea created the most scoring chances (83) of any player in the A-League last season - 14 more than City's best Craig Noone (69).