Match preview: Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne Victory

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory Saturday, 31 December 2011 Venue: Suncorp Stadium Local kick-off: 7:30pm

Referees: Jarred Gillett / Dennis Silk / Brad Hobson / Adam Kersey

Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 2. Matt Smith, 3. Shane Stefanutto (Capt.), 4. Matt Jurman , 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Kofi Danning, 10. Henrique, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran, 14. Matt Mundy, 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 24. Nick Fitzgerald. *two to be omitted*

In: 14. Matt Mundy (promoted), 24. Nick Fitzgerald (promoted)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: 21. James Meyer (adductor injury – 2 weeks), 22. Thomas Broich (heel injury – 2 weeks), Henrique (knee injury – 2 weeks)

Melbourne Victory squad: 2. Matthew Foschini, 3. Fabio, 4. Petar Franjic, 6. Leigh Broxham, 7. Matthew Kemp, 8. Grant Brebner, 9. Jean Carlos Solorzano, 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas, 12. Rodrigo Vargas, 13. Diogo Ferreira, 14. Billy Celeski, 15. Tom Pondeljak, 16.Carlos Hernandez, 17, Jimmy Jeggo, 18. Danny Allsopp, 19. Isaka Cernak , 20. Lawrence Thomas (GK), 21. Ante Covic (GK), 22. Harry Kewell, 23. Adrian Leijer (c) *six to be omitted*

In: 12. Rodrigo Vargas (promoted), 14. Billy Celeski (returns from suspension)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: 1.Tando Velaphi (stress fracture)

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 19): Brisbane Roar wins 5, Melbourne Victory wins 10 (4 draws)


Team News:


Brisbane: Redmayne, Jurman, Hingert, Fitzgerald.

Omitted: Mundy, Visconte.


Melbourne: Thomas, Vargas, Brebner, Allsopp.

Omitted: Ferreira, Rojas, Solórzano.


With Brisbane’s current injury crisis there aren’t really a lot of options available for Postecoglou, so he’s by and large going to have stick with the same core of players. If Issey and Nichols are ruled out then Fitzgerald and Luke Brattan will surely come in. But imo anyway I really hope that Fitzgerald is apart of the squad tomorrow because he’s not only earned it in preseason but also in the youth league. It’s probably going to come down to either him or Visconte, but if it were me I would be taking one of Jurman or Hingert off the bench. I think that Hingert would make more sense because he can add something in an offensive sense and he’s been somewhat impressive in recent matches.


For Melbourne they are so up and down you never know what you’re going to get, and their selections have reflected that. At the back there’s always a chance Vargas comes in for Franjic but I think Mehmet will probably stick with him. In midfield is where it’s tough to predict what they’ll do. There’s every chance that im completely wrong on this, but I think Celeski will come straight into the starting line-up. I also wouldn’t rule out Brebner starting ahead of Celeski in a more defensive move. There’s also a chance I guess that Rojas and Ferreira could also be apart of the squad, infact upon reflection I think Ferreira is more likely to be in the squad than Brebner, but either way. Upfront the starting choice is easy, and on the bench it appears as thou Allsopp is preferred to JCS, even thou imo at least JCS is by far the better player.


Season form:


Melbourne Victory: DLDWDDDWLDWL


Season record vs. Melbourne Victory:

Saturday November 5- Melbourne Victory (Thompson 10’, 21’) 2-2 Brisbane Roar FC (Henrique 6’, Broich 27’)


Top scorers:

Brisbane: Besart Berisha (9)

Melbourne Victory: Archie Thompson (6)



Brisbane: Thomas Broich (5)

Melbourne Victory: Archie Thompson (4)


All-time record against Melbourne Victory:

Total: Played 19: Won 5, Drawn 4, Lost 10. Goals for 21, Goals against 31.

At Suncorp Stadium:

Total: Played 8: Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 5. Goals for 5, Goals against 9.


Keys to the game:


Brisbane absolutely must find their shooting boots, and quick. In the past 5 games they’ve had barely ¼ of the shots they had previously, blame this on Broich not playing if you wish but it’s not good enough. More penetration and movement are needed in the attacking third, two ingredients that have been largely lacking recently. They also need to get the ball into Berisha in positions where he can score.  Perhaps coming up against a Victory side that leaks goals is going to be a big bonus for the Roar.

The midfield likewise needs to lift their output, as imo at least the two men in front of Paartalu have not been as dynamic moving forward in recent weeks, and have began to just play low risk passes square instead of the usual more attacking, riskier passes. Paartalu as well hasn’t been the same with his passing game of late. Defensively I think they are going fine, it’s just individual mistakes further up the park that are leaving them exposed to counter attacks. Infact the Smith- Adnan partnership has really flourished in recent weeks.


There really isn’t a lot that Brisbane can take out of their 1st clash vs. Victory this season in an attacking sense given they played with 9 men for 55 mins and parked the bus 2nd half.  Defensively however they need to be aware of the threat in behind that Archie Thompson and Harry Kewell possess. The duo stung Brisbane twice in rnd 5 and they could have done it a 3rd time in the 2nd half as well.



For Victory they really need to tighten things up at the back because they’ve been leaking goals far too often this season, I guess for them it’s a good time to face Brisbane. But in attack it’s a different storey given the recent purple patch of form for Archie Thompson and Carlos Hernandez, both of whom figure to be central protagonists for Victory tomorrow night. The Kewell form issue is also one that Melbourne needs to solve because they can’t have a marquee player like that going thru the season without scoring goals. It should be a cracking game, and a great way to send 2011 out with a bang, a year Brisbane fans won’t want to forget.


Coaches comments:

* It’s actually vice-captain Shane Stefanutto this week.

“It’s lovely to be playing them on New Year’s Eve, I think it’s a blockbuster game,” he said.

“As a player, I’m really looking forward to it and looking forward to challenging myself against top-quality players.

“On paper, everyone says they’re the best team in the league and looking at it, they’ve got class all over the field.

“I think we as the Brisbane Roar are a good team as well, so I think it’s nice to be able to challenge ourselves against a team like this and on and on an occasion like this, I can’t wait.”

“You can’t just concentrate on one player, like Harry [Kewell],” he said.

“If you do that, Archie will have field day and also, Carlos Hernandez is starting to hit form so I really don’t want to concentrate on Harry because they’ve got some weapons in that team.”



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