Match Preview: Perth Glory vs. Brisbane RoarPosted: February 23, 2012
1stly- Apologies if this preview is a little longer than the usual preview, its just that there’s been a lot of news regarding selection, injures ect over the past 24 hours.
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Venue: nib Stadium
Local kick-off: 6:45pm (9.45pm AEDT)
TV broadcast: Fox Sport 1
Referees: Strebre Delovski / Paul Cetrangolo / Matthew Cheeseman / Trent Fleskens
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Danny Vukovic (Gk), 2.Josh Mitchell, 3.Bas Van Den Brink, 4.Billy Mehmet, 5.Steve Pantelidis, 7.Jacob Burns (C) 8.Adam Hughes, 9.Shane Smeltz, 10.Liam Miller, 13.Travis Dodd, 14.Steven McGarry, 15.Tommy Amphlett, 17.Todd Howarth, 19. Josh Risdon, 20. Neil Young, 21.Mile Sterjovski, 27.Andrezinho 35. Dean Heffernan
*Three to be omitted*
In: 2.Josh Mitchell (Returns from Injury), 9.Shane Smeltz (Returns from Injury) 15.Tommy Amphlett (Promoted)
Unavailable: 6.Chris Coyne (Achilles), 11.Victor Sikora (Hip – Long Term Injury List), 16.Evan Berger (Hamstring)
Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 2. Matt Smith (C), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paartalu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran, 12. Matt Mundy, 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 21. James Meyer, 22. Thomas Broich, 24. Nick Fitzgerald
*Two to be omitted*
Unavailable: 14. Rocky Visconte (Australian U23 duty), 4. Matt Jurman (Australian U23 duty)
**Marco is speculating that Visconte and Jurman will link up in Perth, and may feature in the contest**
Season record vs. Perth Glory:
Round 8: Brisbane Roar (Berisha 23’, 45’, Nakajima- Farran 34’, 42’) 4-0 Perth Glory
Round 15: Perth Glory (Dodd 16’, Sterjovski 24’, 79’) 3-3 Brisbane Roar (Nichols 40’, 69’, Paartalu 45’)
Brisbane: Besart Berisha (15)
Perth: Shane Smeltz (9)
Brisbane: Thomas Broich (5)
Perth: Travis Dodd (3)
All-time record against Perth Glory:
Total: Played 20: Won 12, Drawn 5, Lost 3. Goals for 45, Goals against 26.
At Nib Stadium:
Total: Played 10: Won 6, Drawn 2, Lost 2. Goals for 20, Goals against 12.
Brisbane: Redmayne, Jurman, Nakajima- Farran, Fitzgerald
Omitted: Hingert, Meyer
Perth: Young, Hughes, Andrezinho, Smeltz
Omitted: Mitchell, Howarth, Amphlett
Both of the above line-ups are subject to fitness for Brisbane’s Thomas Broich, the availability of Massimo Murdocca and Perth’s Liam Miller, both of who were substituted with niggles last week. Broich with his shoulder and Miller with his hamstring.
Postecoglou may have some serious issues surrounding his midfield for this game with Broich ‘highly unlikely’ to travel due to that shoulder injury, and Massimo Murdocca possibly missing the game to be with his wife as she gives birth to their 1st child. I believe the squad heads to Perth later today, after their morning training session (which is their usual travel routine: train in Brisbane the day before, fly to away ground in the afternoon) and it goes without saying that Broich is going to need to fly through this mornings session to be any chance. For Murdocca it’s a tough call to fly across the country while your wife is in this stage of the pregnancy, and we saw a similar dilemma for Manny Muscat of the Phoenix recently. Muscat decided to keep playing, but got a suspension which meant he missed the next game anyway. The quotes in the paper seem to indicate he will be travelling, but I think everyone would understand if he didn’t play this weekend.
Even though the Olyroos boys are meeting the team in Perth and Marco is speculating they have a chance to feature, I cannot see a way that either of them plays in this match, and if they do it’s surely not going to be anything more than a bench role. They’ve been peripheral figures in the squad recently anyway so it’s not a huge issue.
Shane Stefanutto had some interesting comments on Fox Sports News last night when he all but confirmed Nick Fitzgerald as the replacement for Broich if he cannot go and he went on to praise the kid by saying he knows his job out there, makes it easier for me, the usual spiel you expect from players when talking about other players. If Broich can’t play this week and Fitzgerald gets the start, which leaves 2 options for the bench role: James Meyer and Kofi Danning. I would expect that Meyer would get the nod, purely because 3-4 weeks ago when it came down to a choice between the two, Meyer got the nod and he was slightly more impressive in youth last week (both were pretty ordinary)
The issue is compounded by the fact that Massimo Murdocca may not make the trip west and if worst comes to worst and both Murdocca and Broich cannot go then Postecoglou has a real issue. Fitzgerald would still come in to play on the left wing, but who would play in the middle? Would Luke Brattan get a late call-up? Is this where Visconte fits into the picture? Does Issey get the start slightly out of position? My bet is that in that situation Luke Brattan would get the call up into the starting side, in what would be a huge opportunity for the young midfielder who’s been stuck in the NYL recently. It’s also worth pointing out that if Broich can play and Murdocca stays in Brisbane, Fitzgerald would be the likely inclusion anyway, with Broich moving to a central midfield role.
My guess on the match day 15 if both Murdocca and Broich cannot play is: Theoklitos, Franjic, Adnan, Smith, Stefanutto, Paartalu, Nichols, Brattan, Henrique, Berisha, and Fitzgerald. Substitutes: Redmayne, Jurman, Nakajima- Farran, Meyer. Im not comfortable projecting the Olyroo boys into the squad, even if Marco says it’s a possibility at least 1 of them could make the bench.
Jack Hingert, who made his comeback in the NYL last weekend by coming on at half-time and playing the whole 2nd half is probably still not match fit yet and would be better served in the Youth league for another week. Mundy is more than capable of sitting on the bench in the A-League, and Jurman could also be an option for the bench.
For Perth im reliably informed they’ve been playing a bit of 4-3-3/ 4-4-1-1 lately and according to a source in the West and he expects that to continue. If Miller cannot go it seems likely that Adam Hughes would step into that role, unless Ferguson wanted to go more attacking and switch to 2 central strikers. He appears to be facing something of a dilemma for this weekends match, because their top scorer Shane Smeltz is once again available for selection following injury. So does he stick with the in form Billy Mehmet or switch to the goal poacher extraordinaire? My bet is that he will ease Smeltz back via the bench, but it would not surprise me if Smeltz started, or even if he went back to two upfront and left one of the midfielders out. Josh Mitchell or Todd Howarth may claim a bench spot purely for defensive cover, with probably Andrezinho making way in that case.
Keys to the game:
Going to keep this very short due to the length: Apart from all the conjecture over who will travel and who won’t Brisbane is rolling right now and it’s a matter of carry that form across the Nullarbor, whoever plays. The only note of caution is giving the ball away in dangerous areas (2nd goal last week), because an inform Perth may profit like Kewell did. Berisha as we all know has been in fantastic form of late and a lot could fall on his shoulders to win the game without his German mate but the other one to watch for here is Mitch Nichols. Mitch has been in good touch since returning from the Olyroos and is always good for a goal from midfield, and that could be what’s required to bring the points back east.
Perth too are on a roll following a convincing 2-0 victory over Newcastle in the west last Saturday just after the Roar match and one loss in the past 10 is as good as any side in the competition, and for them it starts at the back. Since the much maligned Steve Pantelidis moved into a central defensive position the Glory have stopped leaking soft goals and have lost just once. He’s also formed a formidable partnership with Van den Brink.
In the midfield I have to admit I’ve been no fan of the work of McGarry and Burns in the past, but they’ve found a way to make it work recently and the good form of McGarry especially has been a vital factor in their recent success. From the wide areas Dodd and Sterjovski can be extremely dangerous – the duo scored Perth’s 3 goals last time- and they’ll need to be watched carefully. Upfront we all know the danger of Smeltz, but Mehmet has been plugging away nicely and has hit some decent form himself. Not an easy choice for Ferguson, but id rather than choice than the one that is possibly facing Postecoglou.