Round 9 Match Preview: Adelaide United vs. Brisbane Roar

Adelaide

After completing a successful home stand last weekend with a win over Perth, Brisbane are back on the road this weekend to take on an Adelaide United side who play some entertaining football but are yet to get the desired results. Adelaide appear to be close to full strength for the meeting, while Brisbane are without North, Theo and Stefanutto for the clash. Despite having a poor record against the Reds in days gone by, Brisbane have had success against Adelaide in more recent times, having lost just once in the past 10 encounters, and have brought maximum points back from Hindmarsh Stadium in four of the past five visits.

Form:
Adelaide: DLDLL
Brisbane: WWLWW

Top Scorer:
Adelaide:
Jeronimo Neumann (3)
Brisbane: Besart Berisha, Henrique (3)

Brisbane:
Brisbane were forced to be patient last week against a Glory side who sprang something of a tactical surprise with their 3-4-1-2 formation before finding the breakthrough around the hour mark. Brisbane reverted back to the Postecoglou era in some respects with a heavy reliance on attacks from wider areas, with Broich and Corey Brown on the overlap a constant source of attacking thrust, especially in the second half. That can in part however be put down to the formation of the Glory, and the goal itself came from some a pass just outside of the D, arguably the most dangerous and important patch on a football field.

Selection wise it should be the same XI that ran out against Perth on Saturday with Michael Theo, Jade North and Shane Stefanutto all still not ready in the eyes of Mulvey and the coaching staff. That means last weeks debutant Matt Acton retains his spot in goals, while emerging youngsters James Donachie and Corey Brown get another chance to impress. Liam Miller however is once again fit for selection and is expected to get some time off the bench tonight along with youngsters Yeboah and Petratos.

Expected Brisbane XI:
Acton, Hingert, Donachie, Smith, Brown, Franjic, Brattan, McKay, Henrique, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutes: Chalmers, Ferreira, Miller, Petratos, Yeboah.
Omitted: Borrello.

Adelaide:
Adelaide on the other are coming off of a somewhat disappointing draw away to bottom of the table Melbourne Heart. The Reds had a 2-0 lead at the break which they would concede –albeit with the help of a questionable penalty- before rescuing a point. From a selection standpoint I don’t think Gombau will make a great deal of changes, with McKain coming into the side in place of Malik the only expected change.

Adelaide’s possession style has been the focus of discussion in recent weeks but im a fan of what Gombau is trying to do in Adelaide and it reminds me of the vision Postecoglou rolled out here in Brisbane. One aspect of their play which has received considerable attention is their high press and subsequently the defensive line, and it’s something that has brought them undone this season. They’ve already picked up two red cards this season as a result, however it’s doesn’t sound like that’s going to change however with Gombau insisting on his defend from the front philosophy.

Expected Adelaide XI:
Galekovic, Elrich, Boogaard, McKain, Zullo, Isaias, Carrusca, Lustica, Neumann, Cirio, Ferreira.
Substitutes: Hall, Malik, Barker-Daish, Mabil, Djite.
Omitted: Elsey.

Keys to the game:
These two sides are similar in a lot of ways actually, with ball retention, playing out from defence and pressing from the front all important factors for both sides. These two teams are the two best at retaining possession (Adelaide 61.3%, Brisbane 59.2%) so expect ball retention to be a priority for both sides. Another aspect which is often overlooked but could play a pivotal role in tonight’s game is transition- both from defence to attack and attack to defence. Last season this was something which really fell down for Brisbane, however it’s been a lot better this season, while Adelaide seem to be exposed a lot more on the counter- however that is also due to their high pressing game.

Defensive press is another thing both of these sides employ, however they do it differently and one is more successful with it. Adelaide tend to go for almost the full court press with everyone squeezing up to cancel out both space and passing opportunities in order to force the turnover. This however has left them somewhat susceptible to a ball over the top – something which has shown up in recent weeks. Brisbane on the other hand rely more on the work rate of McKay and Berisha in particular to pressure the opponent, while the rest of the midfield drop back to cut off passes into the midfield. Both of these sides have a lot of similarities, and whichever side is successful in these aspects of the game will give themselves a great chance of taking the three points.

Stats:
Untitled

Kick-off is set down for 6.30pm Queensland time and can bee seen live around the nation on SBS2 and also on Fox Sports 1 depending on your preference. You can also watch live on The World Game website, and listen live on 612 ABC Radio Brisbane and Grandstand digital radio.

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