Round 15 Match Preview: Brisbane Roar vs. Melbourne Heart

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It’s been a relatively quiet week at Roar hq in comparison to some previous weeks, but it’s matchday and hopefully that quiet week turns into a big week on the pitch. Ofcourse the last time these two sides met Heart gave Brisbane a massive touch up which sparked the beginning of the end of Rado’s short stint as head coach. But what lessons need to be learned from that ‘garbage’ performance to avoid a similar result today?

Well, the 1st thing is Brisbane has to show up. If they show up ready to play the game should be a lot closer to say the least. Brisbane were a vastly different team back then and this newfound sense of confidence in the group will be important. But it’s not as simple as that, Melbourne pressed really well in the last meeting and Aloisi has demonstrated his ability to set his side up to press high up and hit sides quickly on the counter. He did it last time, he’s done it against their cross-town rivals and I expect more of it today. Thompson and Richie Garcia especially bossed the midfield last time so it might be prudent to bring in Murdocca to help close him down, because as good as the Nichols/Broich combo is, we all know it’s not the most stable defensively.

 

 

Moving onto today’s game the best thing Brisbane has going for them right now is the fact it’s a settled side, for the 1st time this season really. The only change to the expected starting XI will be the much maligned Matt Jurman coming in for the suspended James Donachie. Given his contract is up at the end of the season and his apparently demotion beneath Donachie in the pecking order, this could end up being Jurman’s last chance to win over the coaching staff. Hopefully for his –and Brisbane’s- sake he puts on a far better show than he did last time down there. James Meyer will come into the XV in what will be an attacking bench which shows you the mindset Mulvey has taken for this game.

 

Heart might be a youthful side with multiple youngsters scattered across the team but they’re a dangerous side and can hurt you if you underestimate them- heck, go watch the replay of the last time the sides met. The duel #9’s in Tadic and Macallister have been serviceable but hardly prolific for Heart and Aloisi has in recent weeks turned his attentions towards the younger pacey players in his squad for goals. Gol Gol Mebrahtu and David Williams have impressed in recent weeks and their work on the counter in behind Brisbane’s back 4 could bring some joy. At the back young Redmayne was a tad rusty, but solid enough in his debut last week against the Jets, but you would expect him to be tested far more today.

Likely line-ups:
Melbourne:
Redmayne, Marrone, Colosimo, Gerhardt, Behich, Garcia, Fred, Thompson, Williams, Macallister, Mebrahtu.
Subs: Bolton, Hoffman, Germano, Tadic.

Brisbane: Theo, Franjic, Smith, Jurman, Stefanutto, Paartalu, Nichols, Broich, Halloran, Henrique, Berisha.
Subs: Acton, Murdocca, Fitzgerald, Meyer.

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