Round 19 Preview: Perth Glory vs. Brisbane RoarPosted: February 27, 2015
With Wednesday’s Champions League disappointment now in the past, it’s time turn the focus back onto the A-League as a massive week long road trip commences.
It will have been 15 days since Brisbane last played in the league when kick-off arrives after last weeks game was postponed and in that time thanks to other results Brisbane have maintained their spot in the top 6.
While things didn’t work out on the Gold Coast at the weekend, Brisbane have been on a solid run of form in the league since the resumption from the Asian Cup break with just one loss in five games.
The form of Jean Carlos Solórzano since January has been particularly pleasing, with the Costa Rican showing signs of the form which saw him score 11 goals in the 2010-11 season.
Despite the results in recent weeks, Brisbane haven’t scored in open play in over 180 minutes now, with their last goal from open play coming in stoppage time against Wellington.
Since then Brisbane beat the Jets with a goal from a corner and a free-kick, before beating Central Coast in their last game with two penalties.
Including the Champions League clash with Beijing, Brisbane have scored just two goals from open play in 360 minutes of football.
Selection wise Brisbane will make at least two changes to the side who lost to Beijing at the weekend, with ineligible visa duo Jerome Polenz and Jean Carlos Solórzano expected to come in.
They will likely replace Jack Hingert and Andrija Kaluderovic, with Hingert not even named in the extended squad of 17 for this weeks game. Other than that, Corey Brown and James Donachie could regain their spots in the side at the back, while there could be some rotation in midfield with Lustica a possibility.
It depends on how much rotation Thijssen opts for ahead of the trip to Japan next week.
Expected Brisbane XI: Theo, Polenz, North, Donachie, Brown, Sarota, Brattan, McKay, Borrello, Broich, Solórzano.
Substitutes: Young, DeVere, Lustica, Henrique, Kaluderovic.
Omitted: Stefanutto, Petratos.
Perth have been one the league’s standout teams this season, sitting on top of the table by two points, although Melbourne Victory have a game in hand, and the West Australians will be desperate to grow that lead with Victory not playing until Sunday.
One of the main strengths of the Glory this season has been their quick transitions, where they sit back and hit teams, most notably in the top of the table clash with Melbourne in December.
With Perth, it’s tough to say, but I think last weeks experiment of Thwaite in midfield is likely to be shelved, with the experienced defender likely to replace Denis Kramer in the starting side.
Other than that it should be business as usual for the league leaders who will be looking to maintain that position for another week.
Expected Perth XI: Vukovic, Risdon, Djulbic, Thwaite, Jamieson, Griffiths, Marinkovic, Garcia, Nichols, Harold, Keogh.
Substitutes: Duncan, Kramer, Nichols, Sciola, Paljic.
Omitted: De Silva, Maclaren.
Brisbane: Henrique Silva (7)
Perth: Andy Keogh (9)
So far this season:
Perth Glory (3) Keogh 49(p.k), 74, 90+2
Brisbane Roar (2) Kurtishi 39’, Henrique 55’
Brisbane Roar (1) Henrique 86’
Perth Glory (1) Djulbic 20’
Perth have had the better of the results this season picking up four points out of six along the way, but both games have been competitive.
At times throughout the two games Brisbane played some impressive stuff against the West Australians, particularly when chasing the game at home in round 8.
It’s been at set pieces where Brisbane have fallen down against Perth this season, with Keogh’s winner in round two, and Djulbic’s opener in round 8 coming from corners.
Also this season is the NYL finale, with the same two sides clashing in the West on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides remain in contention for the title, however they will need help from Newcastle earlier in the day. Going into the weekend, Perth and Melbourne City are joint top, with the Victorian side ahead on goal difference, with the Roar just two points back.
Kick-off in Perth is set down for 11am at the Ashfield football club for those travelling to Perth, or living in the west.