Round 5 Match Preview- Brisbane Roar vs. Melbourne City

Following Sunday’s confidence building win over Perth Glory, Brisbane will be given their biggest test of the season to date tonight when they host second placed Melbourne City.

Sunday’s win over Perth followed on performance wise from the second half the previous week with Central Coast and they controlled large parts of the game against an in form side.

While there were no absolute standouts it was a complete team performance where everyone contributed to the win which will be pleasing for John Aloisi.

This weekend however should be a different game as it’s unlikely that City will travel to Brisbane and sit off the Roar as much as Perth did, given the way that Melbourne has played this season.

That should prove to be a bigger test for Brisbane’s back four given the attacking intent of City and the calibre of players in the final third of the visitors, which will test the likes of Jack Hingert and Corey Brown who’ve rightly received praise for their performances in recent weeks.

What have they done lately
Melbourne City have started the season in fantastic touch, with a strong FFA Cup campaign seeing the Victorian side in the final of that competition later this month, while in the A-League they sit second with three wins out of four games.

A lot of focus going into the season was on their new marquee man Tim Cahill, although the form of Bruno Fornaroli, Fernando Brandan and Bruce Kamau has been spectacular to start the new season.

Defensively though there’s still a few questions over City with new central defender Michael Jakobsen still finding his way in the backline alongside fellow new signings Neil Kilkenny and Josh Rose.

Last Five Games
Brisbane– WWLD
Melbourne– WLWW

Team News
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, 15) Manuel Arana, 16) Nathan Konstandopoulos, 17) Matt McKay 19) Jack Hingert, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 28) Brandon Borrello.

Coming off a five day break Brisbane will probably make a couple of changes in order to freshen things up after a short week in the second of two tough home games.

This is all speculation and guess-work, but one of Thomas Broich or Brett Holman will probably start this weekend’s game from the bench, which could open the door for Brandon Borrello to return to the starting line-up on the right hand side.

The addition of both Petratos and Arana to the extended squad also throws up all sorts of options for John Aloisi in terms of the starting line-up and rotations off the bench.

For this specific game it’s unlikely that either will start, and while Joey Katebian will make way for Arana, and Jacob Pepper is the likely candidate to make way for Petratos.

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

Melbourne City 1) Thomas Sorensen, 2) Manny Muscat, 3) Josh Rose, 4) Connor Chapman, 5) Ivan Franjic, 6) Osama Malik, 8) Neil Kilkenny, 10) Anthony Caceres, 11) Bruce Kamau, 12) Nick Fitzgerald, 17) Tim Cahill, 18) Paulo Retre, 20) Dean Bouzanis, 22) Michael Jakobsen, 23) Bruno Fornaroli, 26) Luke Brattan, 27) Fernando Brandan, 35) Christian Cavallo.

While there will no doubt be temptations for John van’t Schip to make a couple of changes to his side, the likelihood is that there will only be the one change to the starting line-up that beat Adelaide last week with Tim Cahill returning to the line-up.

Thomas Sorensen and Ivan Franjic are likely going to have to make do with a spot on the substitutes bench, with the latter returning to the squad this weekend following his absence with an issue surrounding his heart.

Expected Melbourne XI- Bouzanis, Muscat, Jakobsen, Kilkenny, Rose, Malik, Brattan, Kamau, Brandan, Fornaroli, Cahill.
Substitutes- Sorensen, Franjic, Malik, Caceres, Fitzgerald.

Stats, Facts & Figures
– Tonight’s clash is Brisbane’s 150th at Suncorp Stadium in all competitions factoring in A-League, Finals and Asian Champions League. Brisbane’s all time record at Suncorp is: Played 149. Won 73. Lost 44. Drawn 32. Scored 243. Conceded 146.

– Manuel Arana will become the 121st player to represent Brisbane Roar should he make his debut in this weekends clash.

– With the hype surrounding this fixture given the off-season recruitment of the visitors, a crowd of 17,132 or more would be the highest crowd between these two sides.

All-Time Record against Melbourne City

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