Round 2 Preview: Brisbane Roar vs. Central Coast Mariners

**The following is a re-post of something I posted over at Football Central- originally dated 16/10/15

A-L-2

After last weeks season opening win on the road against Western Sydney, Brisbane return home for the first time this season in what is a top of the table encounter against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday afternoon after both came away with unfancied first up wins.

There was a lot to like from Brisbane’s performance last week with the ball, with new signings Corona and Jamie Maclaren having particularly solid debuts. A lot has been made of the all round ability of Corona, but for mine it was the former Glory striker who caught the eye.

His work rate was very high both with and without the ball, and his movements off the ball making runs for himself and others was impressive and something that Brisbane can build upon as the season progresses.

Without the ball Brisbane were perhaps a shade lucky not to concede further goals in the first half, however the changes made by Aloisi at the halftime break seemed to work with the Wanderers having less clear chances in the second half.

Central Coast were impressive last weekend against what was a pretty poor Perth side, but despite getting a bit of luck early on they capitalised on their good play with some quick, direct attacking play.

With the pace of Fabio Ferreira and Mitch Austin breaking forward in transition, the Mariners were extremely effective and earnt two penalties last week. That movement is likely to be the biggest threat to Brisbane in the game.

The Wanderers showed last week that it is possible to get in behind the Brisbane full-backs –particularly Hingert on the right- and I wouldn’t be surprised if Walmsley sets his side up to try and expose a similar failing this weekend. From Brisbane’s point of view that means the full-backs will need to be more cautious going forward, and that when they do the midfield must cover those spaces and track runners better than they did last week.

Squads

Brisbane Roar
1) Michael Theo, 5) Corey Brown, 6) Jerome Polenz, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jaime Maclaren, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 16) Devante Clut, 17) Matt McKay, 19) Jack Hingert, 20) Shannon Brady, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 28) Brandon Borrello, 32) George Lambadaridis.
**Two to be omitted.

Central Coast Mariners
1) Paul Izzo, 2) Storm Roux, 3) Josh Rose, 5) Harry Ascroft, 6) Mitch Austin, 7) Fabio Ferreira, 8) Nick Montgomery, 9) Roy O’Donovan, 10) Anthony Caceres, 11) Nick Fitzgerald, 12) Liam Reddy, 16) Liam Rose, 18) Glen Trifiro, 19) Josh Bingham, 20) Anthony Kalik, 21) Michael Neill, 220 Jake McGing, 23) Eddy Bosnar.
**Two to be omitted.

With three days to go it’s tough to gauge, but John Aloisi has an interesting dilemma facing him on the back of last weeks start to the season as he tries to find a way to bring captain Matt McKay back into the side. There’s little doubt McKay will return, however whether he replaces Steven Lustica or Dimitri Petratos remains unclear.

Neither were overly influential last week without being a liability either, and if history is anything of a guide it would be Lustica to be the unlucky one to make way, purely because he typically operates on the left like McKay while Petratos tends to play more on the right hand side. The combination play between Lustica, Broich and McKay in the pre-season, particularly against the NPL u/23 All-Stars could play in Lustica’s favour. Regardless of who he replaces, it’s very likely that it will be George Lambadaridis making way from the substitutes bench.

Other than that Brisbane are likely to remain the same, with James Donachie probably still a week away from returning despite being named in the extended squad yesterday. If he is fit to play it would a straight swap with Daniel Bowles making way, a move which would be a bit harsh given his performance last week.

Likely Brisbane XI:
Theo, Hingert, Bowles, North, Brown, Corona, Petratos, McKay, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes: Young, Polenz, Lustica, Brady, Clut.
Omitted: Donachie, Lambadaridis.

Central Coast were impressive against a poor Perth side last Saturday evening, with their pace in the front third impressing as they seemingly re-invent themselves with youth once more.

The visitors regain the services of goalkeeper Paul Izzo, midfielder Liam Rose and striker Josh Bingham, who were all away with the Young Socceroos last week, while Josh Rose returns from an injury.

It has been flagged in places that Rose is likely to play in a more forward role this season, however with the impressive debut of Mitch Austin he may have to make do with his old left back spot, or even a spot on the bench.

The injury late in their 3-2 win to Jacob Poscoliero will ensure a change in defence for the Mariners, with veteran Eddy Bosnar the likely replacement there, although youngster Harry Ascroft is also likely to be in contention.

In relation to the bench, there’s a chance that Walmsley will opt to bring in either Liam Rose or Josh Bingham for more attacking options, in which case Glen Trifiro would be the most likely candidate to make way.

Likely Central Coast XI:
Reddy, Roux, Bosnar, McGing, Neill, Montgomery, Caceres, Fitzgerald, Austin, Ferreira, O’Donovan.
Substitutes: Izzo, Ascroft, J. Rose, Trifiro, Kalik.
Omitted: Bingham, L. Rose

Stats and Figures
– Brisbane’s record in home openers: Played 10. Won 6. Drawn 2. Lost 2.
– The last time Brisbane and Central Coast played in a top of the table encounter, 2012-13 Round 20 (Central Coast 0-2 Brisbane)
– Sunday’s meeting is the 38th time the two sides have done battle, making this fixture the most frequent fixture in the A-League.

All-time record against Central Coast Mariners

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