Round 5: Brisbane Roar vs. Melbourne City

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After a weekend off Brisbane from playing and a few off-field distractions Brisbane are back in action this weekend against Melbourne City in a game where both sides will be desperate for the three points. Brisbane have had an interesting couple of weeks since the last game with the departure of Liam Miller after the opening three games of the season has seen the senior players in the group to come out and deny any talk of dressing room unrest.

Miller’s departure figures to create some opportunities some of Brisbane’s promising young midfielders, however for this weekend it’s likely that Dimitri Petratos will continue in his right side of midfield role with Henrique ahead of him. Mulvey has already flagged one change in the side with Jack Hingert set to make his first appearance of the season at right back in place of James Donachie who has struggled so far this year in the role. Despite struggling for consistency so far it’s likely that Mensur Kurtishi will get another chance upfront ahead of Solórzano, while Matt McKay will return to his left side role this weekend ahead of Steven Lustica.

Expected Brisbane XI: Young, Hingert, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Petratos, Brattan, McKay, Henrique, Kurtishi, Broich.
Substitutes: Acton, Donachie, Lustica, Borrello, Solórzano.
Omitted: Bowles, Brown.

City have their own problems going into this game with high profile guest player David Villa heading back to New York to take up some promotional work as they join the MLS next year. He could be back in a few weeks if you believe the reports, but for this weekend they’ll be light on upfront this weekend with David Williams likely to come into the side as a replacement. City will also be without marquee Robert Koren, Jonatan Germano and foundation Brisbane midfielder Massimo Murdocca this weekend due to injury. Apart from Williams coming into the starting side, Iain Ramsay figures to come in at left back for the visitors, while either James Brown or Nick Kalmar will come in for Murdocca.

Expected Melbourne XI: Redmayne, Hoffman, Kisnorbo, Wielaert, Ramsay, Mooy, Paartalu, Brown, Duff, Dugandzic, Williams.
Substitutes: Velaphi, Archibald, Garuccio, Mauk, Kalmar.
Omitted: Melling, Marino.

Milestones:
– Tomorrow will be Henrique’s 100th A-League game for Brisbane Roar. The diminutive Brazilian, who made his debut in the semi-finals against Central Coast in 2009- has scored 28 goals in his previous 99 league games.

All-time record against Melbourne City:
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This weekend is infact a triple header here in Brisbane with the women’s side playing tomorrow afternoon at Lang Park against Adelaide United in what is a must win game for Belinda Wilson’s side. With just one month in the season remaining, Brisbane sit bottom of the table, 7 points outside the finals, so the girls will pretty much have to win every game from here on to continue their record of making the finals. Kick-off is at 3.30pm at Lang Park. Meanwhile, the NYL side is top of the table at the moment with seven points out of nine and will be looking to continue that on Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Park against Melbourne City. Kick-off in that game is at 3.30pm.

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