Round 25 Match Preview- Brisbane Roar vs. Sydney FC

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Round 25 sees Brisbane play the first of two successive home games against Sydney FC with the chance to return to the top of the league win a win.

Last week the Roar started the game well against Melbourne City, playing a controlled, composed game and taking the lead before a red card and a penalty just after the half time break swung the game in favour of the hosts who ran out 3-1 winners and went top of the league as a result.

Results however have been favourable for John Aloisi’ side and they find themselves with another chance to claim top spot on the table with a win, although City would have the chance to go ahead on goal difference with their game on Monday.

As things stand with just three games remaining, Western Sydney still sit in the box seat, however with their loss tonight the chance is there for Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne City to take top spot this weekend.

Sydney looked to be cruising to a vital win last Saturday on the Central Coast before a late fight back from the Mariners saw the home side snatch a point and leave the Sky Blues desperately clinging to their finals hopes.

Tonight result which saw Melbourne edge six points clear of Sydney for the final spot in the top 6 wont help their cause and leaves the visitors needing a win to remain in the hunt. These two sides have met twice this season, both in Sydney, with Brisbane returning home with four points out of six after a 0-0 draw in round 5 and a 3-1 win in round 17.

The first meeting this season between the two was one that was dominated by the Sky Blues in terms of territory and possession, but a resolute defensive display kept chances to a minimum, with neither side creating a clear cut goal scoring chance over the 90 minutes.

That win in round 17 was an important one for the Roar who were coming off back to back hidings against Melbourne and Adelaide, and a Jamie Maclaren brace set the Roar on their way. Matt McKay also netted for Brisbane, before a Sydney set piece deflected off Spaniard Corona and into the back of the net.

Brisbane Roar squad 1) Michael Theo, 3) Shane Stefanutto, 5) Corey Brown, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 10) Henrique, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 16) Devante Clut, 18) Javier Hervas, 20) Shannon Brady, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 24) Tommy Oar 28) Brandon Borrello.
*two to be omitted.

Sydney FC Squad 1) Vedran Janjetovic, 2) Sebastian Ryall, 4) Zac Anderson, 5) Matt Jurman, 6) Robert Stambolziev, 8) Milos Dimitrijevic, 9) Shane Smeltz, 10) Milos Ninkovic, 13) Brandon O’Neill, 17) David Carney, 18) Matt Simon, 19) Jacques Faty, 20) Ivan Necevski, 21) Filip Holosko, 22) Ali Abbas, 23) Rhyan Grant, 24) George Blackwood, 27) Mickael Tavares.
*Two to be omitted.

Expected line-ups
Brisbane XI- Young, Bowles, North, Donachie,  Brown, Petratos, Corona, Lustica, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Theo, Stefanutto, Hervas, Oar, Henrique.
Omitted- Clut, Brady.

Brisbane will have to make two changes to their starting line-up from the side who lost to Melbourne City last week, with Jack Hingert suspended after his sending off, and Matt McKay a late call up to the National Squad this week.

The timely return of James Donachie will result in Daniel Bowles shifting to the right side of the back four, while Steven Lustica seems to have beaten Javi Hervas and Tommy Oar to a start on the left side of the midfield three. Hervas however will get a reprieve of sorts by returning to the substitutes bench.

Sydney XI: Janjetovic, Ryall, Anderson, Jurman, Grant, Tavares, O’Neill, Holosko, Ninkovic, Blackwood, Smeltz.
Substitutes: Necevski, Faty, Dimitrijevic, Carney, Simon.
Omitted: Stambolziev, Abbas.

Sydney’s side is a tough one to pick given their situation in the league and having a big ACL clash next week which could cause them to rest some individuals ahead of that clash with Pohang. For the sake of this, I’ve just listed their strongest available side based on recent weeks.

Recent form
Brisbane- LWWLL
Sydney- DLLDD

Top Scorer
Brisbane- Jamie Maclaren (17)
Sydney – Filip Holosko (7)

All-Time Record against Sydney FC

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