Round 15 Match Preview: Perth Glory vs. Brisbane Roar

round-1

Brisbane are back on the road this week after a home game last Saturday, and they’ve got the longest road trip in the competition this week with a trip west to face Perth. Not that they should be fazed by the travel, as Brisbane have dominated this fixture down the years with 8 wins from 13 trips west. All up Brisbane have won 16 of the 26 games between the two sides. A fun little fact- should Brisbane score tonight, it will be the 50th goal they will have scored against Perth Glory. The only team Brisbane has currently scored 50 goals against is Central Coast Mariners (53).

Form:
Brisbane:
LWWLW
Perth: WWLDL

Top Scorers:
Brisbane:
Besart Berisha (6)
Perth: 6 players (2)

Brisbane:
Brisbane are going into this game on the back of a home defeat, however their road form has been exemplary of late, with a 3-0 rout of Melbourne Victory on the last trip away from Brisbane. They do have some issues to deal with however. Upfront leading marksman and fan favourite in the west Besart Berisha is expected to start tonight following his goal from the bench on return last week. The question for Mulvey will be who makes way. The fitness of Thomas Broich threatens to throw a spanner into the decision, however given they’re flying him over to Perth, it’s unlikely he wont be involved so I expect him to start. Henrique figures to be the unlucky man, with Dimitri Petratos climbing above him on the pecking order in recent weeks.

In defence there are also issues with Diogo Ferreira (suspended), Corey Brown (away on international duty), Ivan Franjic (injured) and James Donachie (injured) all unavailable. That should mean that Jack Hingert will be restored to the starting line-up at right back tonight. There isn’t any cover for the defensive roles on the bench however, so should an issue arise it will be interesting to see how Mulvey plugs that gap.

Expected Brisbane XI:
Theo, Hingert, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Miller, Brattan, McKay, Petratos, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutes: Acton, Theodore, Ingham, Henrique, Borrello.

Perth:
Perth beat the winless Melbourne Heart at home last Friday night with the returning Shane Smeltz netting a late brace to see Kenny Lowe’s men in the lower half of the top six. As mentioned, there has been a change in the manager at Perth since the last meeting back in Round 8 with Alistair Edwards removed due to player unrest, and replaced by noted West Australian coach Kenny Lowe. Structurally not a lot has changed to date, with Perth still playing a 4-51 shape, however that may change in future weeks as Lowe begins to put his stamp on the side. Team news should be pretty simple for Perth, but they do have marquee man William Gallas back in the side for this one, and after two goals last week Shane Smeltz –who has linked to Brisbane this week in place of Berisha- is likely to come into serious consideration for a start as well.

Expected Perth XI:
Vukovic. Davies, Gallas, Thwaite, Clisby, Sidnei, Burns, Cernak, McGarry, Zahra, Smeltz.
Substitutes: Radonich, Risdon, C. Edwards, De Silva, Harold.
Omitted: Woodcock, O’Neill.

So far this season:
Round 8:
Brisbane Roar (Berisha 57’) 1-0 Perth Glory

This one was an interesting battle, with Perth changing from their regular 4-5-1 shape to a 3-5-2 formation in order to limit the space for Brisbane. By and large the plan worked, but it was at the expense of their most attacking weapons- wide men Ryo Nagai and Sidnei Sciola- who spent the day acting as full backs more than wingers as Brisbane overloaded them. The game was a tight, scrappy affair decided by a moment of class by Berisha. Given they’re at home, and under new management, im expecting Perth to play a much more attacking minded game tonight than in round 8.

Tale of the tape:
Untitled

It’s been hot all week over in Perth with temperatures in the high 30’s, however tomorrow seems to be a slight break in that with a top of 33 expected, it should be cooler come game time however. For those in Brisbane, despite being on Friday night, this isn’t the free to air game of the round, and can be viewed on Fox Sports 1 from roughly 8.45pm. A win would see Brisbane move 7 points clear of second placed Western Sydney, who play later in the weekend.

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