Match Preview: Brisbane Roar vs. Melbourne Victory

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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)alloran, 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)

 

 

Melbourne Victory squad: 1. Tando Velaphi (GK), 3. Adama Traore, 5. Mark Milligan, 6. Leigh Broxham, 8. Jonathan Bru, 9. Marcos Flores, 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas, 13. Diogo Ferreira, 14. Billy Celeski, 17. Jimmy Jeggo, 18. Francesco Stella, 21. Spase Dilevski, 22. Jesse Makarounas, 23. Adrian Leijer, 26. Andrew Nabbout, 31. Scott Galloway, 32. Connor Pain, 33. Daniel Mullen, 39. Nathan Coe (GK) (Five to be omitted)

 

 

Expected starting line-ups:
Brisbane:
Theo, Hingert, Donachie, North, Stefanutto, Brattan, Lustica, Franjic, Nijland, Broich, Berisha.
Subs: Acton, Henrique, Nichols, Halloran.

Omitted: Jurman, Murdocca, Lambadaridis.

 

 

Melbourne: Coe, Galloway, Mullen, Leijer, Traore, Broxham, Celeski, Milligan, Pain, Rojas, Thompson.
Subs: Velaphi, Dilevski, Stella, Nabbout.

Omitted: Bru, Flores, Ferreira, Jeggo, Makarounas.

 

 

Form:
Brisbane: WDWLD
Melbourne: WLLLW

 

 

Top scorers:
Brisbane:
Besart Berisha (12)
Melbourne: Marco Rojas (14)

 

 

Season results:
Round 2: Brisbane Roar (Broich 22’, Paartalu 23, Nichols 82’, Berisha x2- 64’, 92’) 5-0 Melbourne Victory.
Round 11: Melbourne Victory (Milligan 49’) 1-1 Brisbane Roar (Halloran 24’)

 

 

This is a massive match for both sides with both having some pretty strong motivations to get the win. Brisbane obviously are fighting hard now with Newcastle, Heart, Sydney and Perth for the 5th and 6th spots in the finals, and could cement their place in the finals with a win tomorrow night. The Victory meanwhile will still no doubt be smarting from that flogging they received some 4 months ago now, and are obviously a totally different side. They’re probably harbouring hopes of making a late run at the top two aswell. Both teams will go into this one reportedly with no changes to their squads, which is hardly surprising given both are coming off wins but it does mean some important players will miss out. For Brisbane- once again Massimo Murdocca will miss out, while Nichols and Henrique will have to be content with a bench spot, whereas for the Victory Marcos Flores is not yet 100% fit and will be given another week.

 

 

Brisbane have been in probably their best form of the season in the past few weeks and there have been some encouraging signs since Mulvey was given the job permanently. The defensive unit is beginning to show signs that it is back to it’s best having not conceded a goal for around a month now with Donachie and North forming a solid understanding. The attack is also creating more chances with Broich and Berisha beginning to find their very best form. They do however need to get more out of on loan foreigner Stef Nijland. The Dutchman has flattered to deceive since his arrival and in that key role Mulvey will surely be hoping for a standout performance tomorrow night. The next two matches- Victory (H) and CCM (A) – will be the big test to see how far Brisbane has improved.

 

 

Melbourne had a massive bounce back last weekend after defeat to the other 3 teams in the top 4, they destroyed an undermanned Newcastle side. They’re obviously a far better side than the one we 1st saw up here in October, with the structures now well ingrained in their team- both in attack and in defence. That defence has been rather susceptible at times this year and are still prone to the quick counter attack as CentralCoast recently showed. That could play right into Brisbane’ hands given the quick attacking talent in the squad. Victory’s attack will be totally different to the timid version we saw in round 2 with the two wide attackers and a false #9. Milligan is also a key cog in their side in the midfield and they desperately missed him last time.

 

 

The race for the top 6 has turned form a marathon into sprint with five sides legitimately fighting for the two spots. Brisbane currently has a leg up on the competition as they’re currently in a finals spot, but all that can change in a heartbeat. Forget about the Postecoglou factor, Brisbane has far more pressing concerns, and a win in this game could potentially be a big confidence boost going into the finals, given the likelihood of a Roar vs. Victory meeting if they finish 3rd and 6th on the table.

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