Round 4 Catch-up Game Preview: Western Sydney vs. BrisbanePosted: December 2, 2014
Brisbane begins what is a four game road trip tonight with a trip to Parramatta in what is the first meeting between the two sides this season, and since Orange Sunday III back in May. It looms as the start of a busy and vital period for Brisbane going into the festive period, with six games between now and early December before the Asian Cup break- five of which will be on the road.
Since the two last met it’s been an interesting ride for both sides with Brisbane starting out the season with just one win in seven games, and find themselves now managed by interim manager Frans Thijssen. Western Sydney meanwhile have had an up and down season with the highpoint being their run to the Asian Champions League, while in the league they’re still looking for their first win of the season.
Selection wise things were thrown out the window late yesterday with the news that Thomas Broich would be out until after the Asian Cup break as he undergoes ankle surgery. Without that news, it was probably shaping as an unchanged XI from Saturdays game against Perth. Now though it’s likely that Mensur Kurtishi will get a chance from the start upfront. On the bench, both Adam Sarota and Jean Carlos Solórzano were named yesterday as inclusions, however I remain sceptical on that one- I would probably expect one of Shannon Brady, Patrick Theodore or Devante Clut to come into the squad. I’ve listed Solórzano on the bench below, but time will tell on that one.
Expected Brisbane XI: Young, Bowles, North, Smith, Brown, Petratos, Brattan, McKay, Borrello, Henrique, Kurtishi.
Substitutes: Acton, Donachie, Lustica, Danning, Solórzano.
Omitted: Broich –injured-, Sarota.
Western Sydney under Popovic have shown their willingness to rotate their squad around giving everyone a go, something which helped them develop the depth to go and become Asian Champions last month. With that rotation policy, and their upcoming trip to Morocco for the Club World Cup in mind, it’s tough to predict just who will start for the Wanderers tonight. At a guess I’ll say that Poljak will be rested tonight with their heavy schedule ahead, but time will tell.
Expected Western Sydney XI: Covic, Cole, Spiranovic, Topor-Stanley, Adeleke, La Rocca, Trifiro, Castelen, Saba, Bridge, Juric.
Substitutes: Bouzanis, Hamill, Baccus, Rukavystya, Sotirio.
Omitted: Poljak, Haliti.
Western Sydney: DDLLD
Western Sydney: Mark Bridge, Tomi Juric (2)
Brisbane: Henrique (5)
– Matt McKay –if selected- will become the most capped Brisbane Roar player in A-League history. Both McKay, and his former midfielder teammate Massimo Murdocca are tied on 159 A-League games for Brisbane. When factoring in Champions League and FFA Cup fixtures, Murdocca still holds the Brisbane Roar appearance record with 164 games in all appearances to McKay’s 159.
– Tonight will also be Matt Smith’s 100th A-League game for Brisbane Roar, making him the 9th player to rack up a century of appearances for Brisbane. Smith joins Massimo Murdocca, Matt McKay, Mitch Nichols, Michael Theo, Thomas Broich, Ivan Franjic, Shane Stefanutto and Henrique in the 100 A-League games for Brisbane club. All up Smith has made 106 appearances in all competitions.
– A lot is being made of the Wanderers being winless this season, however it’s also worth mentioning that in four previous games at Parramatta Stadium, Brisbane are yet to return home with the win -2 draws, 2 losses-. Brisbane have however had the better of the Wanderers in recent times, with two wins and two draws last season. Western Sydney’s last win in this game was the semi-final loss from 2013.
– Goals have been something of a problem this season for Brisbane, and if you’re looking for a goal scorer in this fixture who will play tonight its slim pickings. Of the six players to have scored for Brisbane against the Wanderers, only one remains a Brisbane player, and that’s Grand Final hero Henrique.
All time record against Western Sydney Wanderers:
Brisbane’s record at Parramatta Stadium hasn’t been the best since the Wanderers inception, however it’s got progressively better and with the team outside of the top six there isn’t a better time to snap that run. A win for Brisbane will see them move above Central Coast into the top six – Wanderers can achieve the same with a 2 goal win-, so the incentive is their for both sides. Kick-off is set for 6.30 pm Queensland time, with the game shown on Fox Sports 4 (Ch. 505). Also- don’t forget that after the game a mini documentary entitled ‘Mr. Smith’ will air, which Brisbane captain Matt Smiths journey in football through.