Round 4 Match Preview- Brisbane Roar vs. Perth Glory

After a mixed bag of results on the recent two game road trip to New Sout Wales, Brisbane return home for the first time since the opening game of the season to take on Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon.

While Saturday’s win over the Mariners wasn’t the best performance we’ve seen from the Roar, it was an important one that could potentially kick-started the sides 2016-17 campaign.

Central Coast had their moments in the game, but as the 90 minutes wore on we saw the visitors assert themselves on the contest more and more, with the second 45 minutes being the Roar’s best of the new season and they could of scored a handful of goals to reflect their dominance but for the goalkeeping of Paul Izzo.

A lot has been made of Jamie Maclaren’s start to the new season and while he still hasn’t opened his goalscoring account he showed signs that it’s not far off against the Mariners, with only a handful of spectacular saves from Paul Izzo denying Brisbane’s leading marksman. Provided those chances continue to arrive at his boot, a breakthrough goal isn’t too far away.

This weekend however will prove to be a much stiffer test of the Brisbane side, with high flying Perth Glory looking to continue their solid start to the season. While Brisbane won their most recent meeting 4-0 down in Sydney putting in their best showing of the pre-season according to reports, when the two last met in a competitive fixture it was a 2-0 win for the visiting side in the FFA Cup.

That night at Ballymore the contest was a largely even one, with the visitors capitalising on set pieces with two headers from Dino Djulbic separating the two sides. Perth have established themselves as the most prolific side from set pieces in recent times, with two last week against Melbourne City in addition the six they’ve scored against Brisbane in the last two competitive fixtures between the two.

In that FFA Cup loss however Brisbane were missing both Luke DeVere and Thomas Kristensen from the side, with those two adding some much needed height to a side which without them is lacking an aerial presence. How Brisbane deal with the set pieces from Perth Glory, and the overall trickiness of Andy Keogh will go a long way to deciding the outcome of the game.

What have they done lately
Perth Glory have started the new season living up to the pre-season predictions that 2016-17 would see the West Australian side return to the top of the table, a place they made their own for large parts of the 2014-16 campaign before their salary cap breaches saw them excluded from the finals series.

Two wins from three Perth enter the weekend second on the ladder behind only Sydney FC and last weeks win over fellow high flyers Melbourne City will no doubt only further boost the Glory’s confidence. Glory’s capitulation in the second half against Central Coast in Round 1 however does indicate that there are weaknesses in this Perth side that Brisbane can exploit.

Individually it’s been a flying start to the new season for Irish striker Andy Keogh, who netted the first hat-trick of the season last weekend against City and will be confident of adding to his four previous strikes against Brisbane this weekend. Last seasons Johnny Warren Medallist Diego Castro has also picked up where he left off, finding the net in each of the opening two rounds of the new season; albeit from the penalty spot.

Recent Form
Brisbane-
DLW
Perth- DWW

Squads
Brisbane Roar– 1) Michael Theo, 3) Luke DeVere, 4) Daniel Bowles, 5) Corey Brown, 7) Thomas Kristensen, 8) Jacob Pepper, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 10), Brett Holman, 11) Tommy Oar, 13),  Jade North, 16) Nathan Konstandopoulos, 17) Matt McKay, 19) Jack Hingert, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 25) Nicholas D’Agostino, 27) Brandon Borrello, 33) Joey Katebian.
*Two to be omitted.

Having picked up the three points on the road last it’s likely that John Aloisi will go into this weekend’s home game with the same matchday squad as the previous weekend.

The news that both Dimitri Petratos and Manuel Arana had been left off the squad lists yesterday indicates that Aloisi and his coaching staff are prepared to not rush the duo back into the side with perhaps one of the duo coming into consideration for next Friday’s home game with Melbourne City.

Expected Brisbane XI- Theo, Hingert, North, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Oar, Holman, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Young, Bowles, Pepper, Borrello, Katebian.

Perth Glory- 2) Alex Grant, 3) Marc Warren, 4) Shane Lowry, 5)  Rhys Williams, 6) Dino Djulbic  7) Joel Chianese, 8) Rostyn Griffiths, 8) Andy Keogh, 10) Nebosa Marinkovic, 13) Nicholas Feely , 14) Chris Harold, 15) Brandon Wilson, 16) Joseph Mills 7) Diego Castro, 19) Josh Risdon, 22) Adam Taggart, 24) Milan Smiljanic, 33) Liam Reddy.
*Two to be omitted.

Rhys Williams will make his return from injury this weekend adding experience to the Glory side, although with Djulbic and Lowry it could be that Williams makes his return to the side in the centre of midfield in place of youngster Brandon Wilson.

Milan Smiljanic could also make his first start in the midfield if Williams isn’t selected in that role. Adam Taggart was also expected to make his return from injury this weekend, although before the Glory left on their flight from Perth it was confirmed that the striker would remain in the West.

Expected Perth XI- Reddy, Risdon, Djulbic, Lowry, Warren, Griffiths, Williams, Marinkovic, Harold, Castro, Keogh.
Substitutes- Feely, Grant, Mills, Smiljanic, Chianese.

Stats, Facts & Figures
– Brisbane’s record at home against Perth is highly impressive, with 10 wins from sixteen encounters at Suncorp Stadium including the 2012 Grand Final. Perth however did win on their last trip to Brisbane back in August, coming out 2-0 winners in the FFA Cup Round of 32 clash at nearby Ballymore.

– Jamie Maclaren has never failed to score in four straight games for Brisbane Roar, with his current run of time without a goal equalling his longest dry spell since joining the Roar last June.

– Perth have taken advantage of set piece superiority in recent encounters against Brisbane, with six goals from set pieces in the last two matches going back to the last league clash between the two in Round 20 of last season.

All-Time Record Against Perth Glory

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