Round 11 Match Preview: Brisbane Roar vs. Newcastle Jets.

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After two weeks on the road, Brisbane are back at home tomorrow to take on the Jets in the second meeting this season between the sides. Despite continuing this seasons sensational start, Brisbane have a shocking record at home against the Jets historically winning just two out of 11 meetings between the two sides here in Brisbane. The official stat is: Played 11. Won 2, Drawn 2, Lost 7. Newcastle for there part have been up and down this season, with the Wanderers getting a 1-0 result last weekend. An interesting stat from this fixture is that Joel Griffiths scored in 8 successive meetings between the two sides, branching out over seasons 2, 3 and 4. His 8 strikes is the highest individual tally of anyone in this fixture, with Reinaldo’s 7 goals being Brisbane’s best.

Form:
Brisbane:
WWWWL
Newcastle: LWLWW

Top Scorer:
Brisbane:
Besart Berisha (5)
Newcastle: Adam Taggart (6)

Brisbane:
Brisbane were scrappy last weekend against the Phoenix however they still came away with the three points. Like they have done in recent weeks they started out slowly and gave the opposition two or three good opportunities to score early on. One of these weeks this will come back to bite them, but for now they’re getting away with it. It’s still an area they need to address however as some players tend to start the game off slowly and a bit timidly.

On the selection front the only change figures to be at the back where Jade North is back in the selection frame and is a decent chance of returning to the starting XI in place of the unlucky James Donachie. Brandon Borrello will come onto the bench in place of Kwame Yeboah whose off in Germany sealing his deal with Borussia Monchengladbach. The only other position battle in the line-up currently is between imports Liam Miller and Henrique, however Mulvey seems to prefer Franjic wide on the right and as such Miller is likely to get another chance in the side despite failing to fire so far.

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

Newcastle:
The Jets have been a bit up and down so far this season, but they have reserved their best two performances for games on the road with impressive performances away to Adelaide and more recently Melbourne Victory. Newcastle have played some pretty impressive stuff in recent weeks, but have been let down by defensive lapses. Player wise Adam Taggart has taken a bunch of steps forward this season and become a regular threat, now they need a couple more players to step up and follow.

Selection wise there’s always an element of the unknown with a van Egmond team as he’s never shy of changing things up. They’re still missing Emile Heskey so Taggart will start once again with Joey Gibbs likely to be on the bench and the absence of Scott Neville means that Jacob Pepper will continue to fill in as a full-back. As I said there’s no guarantees with a GVE side, but I’ve got a hunch that Caravella and Goodwin will come into the starting line-up in place of Brown and Brillante.

Expected Newcastle XI:
Birighitti, Pepper, Jaliens, Regan, Gallaway, Kantarovski, Zadkovich, Caravella, Hoole, Goodwin, Taggart.
Substitutes: Kennedy, Brillante, Oxborrow, Brown, Gibbs.

So far this season:
Round 6: Newcastle Jets (Taggart 51’, 74’) 2-1 Brisbane Roar (Brattan 38’)

The first meeting this season was played out in dire conditions in the hunter with wet and windy conditions leaving puddles all over the pitch. Brisbane took the lead and looked decent value in the first half, before two sloppy mistakes from Smith and Donachie saw the Jets take the points. Brisbane however that day had a midfield trio of North, Brattan and Ferreira from the start- a far cry from the midfield we’ll see on display tonight.

Stats:
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It’s expected to be fine tomorrow with temperatures in the mid 20’s which should make for good football, however there are still questions over the state of the pitch. With two concerts since the last home game three weeks ago – including on Tuesday night- there’s a reasonable chance the field will be in less than optimal condition for tomorrow’s game. The match can be seen live around the nation on SBS2 and Fox Sports 1, and can also be heard live on 612 ABC Brisbane and ABC Local Radio Queensland.

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