ACL Matchday 4 Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs. Brisbane Roar

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After a three week break the AFC Champions League resumes this week with Matchday 4, and it could be a decisive moment in the outcome of Group G. Going into this game, Brisbane and Suwon are tied for second place in Group G, with the Korean’s ahead on goals scored, so a result either way tonight will go a long way to deciding who will qualify for the last 16.

Brisbane’s form hasn’t been overly convincing in recent weeks, with a five match winless run halted last week against a poor Central Coast side in a game where Brisbane cut loose and put their opponents to the sword for almost the first time this season. Bigger tests are to come, but it’s a good first step for the Roar who between now and May 5th will play seven times, with the possibility of another game being thrown in there should they make the finals.

In the Champions League specifically this season however, Brisbane have been more than competitive and could probably count themselves unlucky not to have more than the 4 points that they do have. Those dropped points at home may ultimately prove to be costly, however their road record in Asia is very strong, with just one loss in five previous games away from home.

The build-up for this game has been rather interesting for Brisbane, with a full week to prepare for a game for the first time since their R18 game against Melbourne was postponed. It’s not something they should get used to however, with two games a week on the horizon for the foreseeable future.

From Suwon’s point of view, they would be pretty happy with where they sit in the group currently, with four points picked up on the road, and two home matches to play against the sides who would be challenging them for second in the group. A last minute winner in their K-League game against Busan I ‘Park at the weekend will also ensure their confidence going into this one.

Recent form
Suwon: WWDWL
Brisbane: WLLLD

Squads
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Brisbane are expected to make four changes to the side who dismantled Central Coast last Thursday, with hat-trick hero Steven Lustica likely to return to the bench, with Matt McKay once again available. Jade North meanwhile didn’t make the trip to Korea as he stays back to rest after being thrown into the last two games despite still not being 100%.

Other than that it’s the standard replacements for Jerome Polenz and Jean Carlos Solórzano who are ineligible, with Jack Hingert and Dimitri Petratos expected to start the game. Theo is still not ready to play either and has been left in Brisbane to continue his recovery.

Expected Brisbane XI: Young, Hingert, DeVere, Donachie, Stefanutto, Broich, Brattan, McKay, Borrello, Kaluderovic, Petratos.
Substitutes: Chalmers, Bowles, Brown, Sarota, Lustica, Clut, Brady.

It’s unclear who will start tonight for the Bluewings, however defender Yang Sang Min is available once again after serving his suspension on the previous matchday. Brazilian trio Leo Itaperuna, Santos and Kaio are expected to feature tonight in some capacity. Below is the line-up Suwon went with at the weekend in a 2-1 win over Busan at home.

Expected Suwon XI: Dong Geong, Sung-Jin, Chul, Sang-Lo, Se-Gye, Eun-Seon, Chang-Hoon, Te Se, Ki-Hun, Leo, Santos.

Stadium Suwon_World_Cup_Stadium
Suwon 2002 World Cup Stadium (aka Big Bird Stadium)
Opened- 2001
Capacity- 43, 959

Last time against Suwon Bluewings
Brisbane Roar 3 (Borrello 13’, Clut 22’, 80’)
Suwon Bluewings 3 (Jung-Jin 39’, 50’, Te Se 71’)

Brisbane started the first encounter between these two on matchday three with a fast start, dominating the first half before having to dig deep to ensure they left the game with a point. Suwon were allowed a path back into the game just before the halftime break, and the Koreans were more than good enough to take it, with some slick transition work getting them level, and then in front in the game. Those transitions could prove to be the biggest danger tonight.

All time record against Suwon Bluewings

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Elsewhere tonight in Group G it’s now or never for Urawa as they’ll need the three points to keep their slim round of 16 hopes alive. Beijing meanwhile can all but secure a spot in the next round with a win in Saitama depending on the result in the Brisbane-Suwon game. Here’s the table going into tonight.

bandicam 2015-04-08 14-21-25-559

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