Match Preview: Adelaide United vs. Brisbane Roar

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Adelaide United squad:

1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 20.Paul Izzo (gk), 21.Jeronimo Neumann, 23.Evan Kostopoulos, 24.Awer Mabil, 25.Tomi Juric (One to be omitted)
Brisbane Roar squad:

1. Michael Theo (gk), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Stef Nijland, 10. Henrique, 11. Ben Halloran, 13. Jade North, 14. Steven Lustica, 15. James Donachie, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Matt Acton (gk), 22. Thomas Broich (c), 25. George Lambadaridis. *Three to be omitted

 
Expected starting line-ups:
Brisbane
: Theo, Hingert, North, Donachie, Stefanutto, Brattan, Lustica, Franjic, Nijland, Broich, Berisha.
Subs: Acton, Nichols, Halloran, Henrique.
Adelaide: Galekovic, Malik, Boogaard, Golec, Cassio, Carrusca, Watson, Vidosic, Neumann, Juric, Ramsay.
Subs: Izzo, Barbiero, Kostopoulos, Mabil

Form:
Adelaide: DLWDD
Brisbane: DWLDW

Season results:
Round 5: Brisbane Roar 0-1 Adelaide United (Vidosic 3’)
Round 13: Adelaide United 0-1 Brisbane Roar (Henrique 66’)
Top Scorers:

Adelaide: Dario Vidosic (8)
Brisbane: Besart Berisha (12)

 

 

Brisbane will go into this one with the same matchday squad as last week with Mulvey saying that no changes were required. This means that hat trick hero from last week James Meyer, and ever-present midfielder Massimo Murdocca will be missing from the squad again today. While I agree with Mulvey when he talks about the Lustica- Brattan combination blossoming into something worth persevering with, I still believe that the bench would be more balanced with Murdocca and Meyer on it.

 

Im also yet to be convinced by Stef Nijland in that #10/playmaker role. Mulvey mentioned earlier in the week how he saw signs that Nijland and Berisha were beginning to show signs of forming some sort of combination or understanding. Not sure im seeing it yet. He’s got another big chance today, hopefully things begin to click today.

Last week Brisbane really began to knock the ball around with some confidence at times, especially in the 1st half. That dropped off slightly when Brattan –who’s been excellent in recent weeks- was forced off with an injury, but the positive signs were there. His combination with Lustica, where one sits deeper while the other plays slightly further forward is beginning to show some very positive signs. Defensively aswell, it’s been over 300 minutes now since Brisbane has conceded a goal, and this current backline has shown signs that they’re beginning to build up some confidence in each other. That’s especially true of the central pairing who have been solid since Donachie won the starting spot for good off Jurman a month or so ago.

Adelaide have gone through a rather tumultuous time since the last time Brisbane met them, with a change of coach, and dressing room issues coming to light at the club. Despite all of this, and a patch with just one win in five games, they remain entrenched in the top 4 going into the final rounds of the season, and still with hope of a top 2 finish if things fall for them.

From what I can tell Valkanis hasn’t changed a great deal since taking over, they still play a 4-3-3 using the width to create combinations to get in behind the opposition so Hingert and Stefanutto, along with the two central midfielders will need to limit the space. Tomi Juric has only just arrived as a replacement for Van Djik, but he’s already got two goals and looks a very handy acquisition for the Reds with Djite out injured and Jeronimo being a bit hot a cold of recent weeks. He’s a big strong striker who’s also got a bit of pace so he’ll be a tricky matchup for North and Donachie.

 

 

The one thing Adelaide do very well without the ball is that they lure teams into areas that suit them, then they collapse the space, win the ball and counter. So Brisbane’s attacking trio behind Berisha will need to make sure they don’t get caught out by that, because Adelaide have some dangerous weapons on the counter. That midfield however will be missing Jon McKain who is suspended for this weeks match. The Brisbane born fringe Socceroo has been excellent in recent weeks in that #6 role breaking up play and distributing to start attacks going the other way. Cameron Watson (most likely), Iain Fyfe of Fabian Barbiero will likely fill the void in that role today.

 

This is a massive match for Brisbane, time is really beginning to run short now and with Newcastle getting a win midweek the gap to a finals berth is now beginning to open up a touch. Anything other than a win today and the gap could become as large as large as 5 points with 4 games remaining, so hopefully the boys come through today with a big 3 points. While the table may be against them, season history however is in their favour, with the visiting side winning both encounters this season by a score of 10, with Henrique providing the only goal the last time the two sides met. Hopefully that continues today.

 

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