2016/17 A-League Preview- Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar

After Brisbane’s 10 game unbeaten run from mid October through Christmas, John Aloisi’ side now find themselves on a two game losing streak as they travel to Melbourne for the second time this season.

Last week against Newcastle things were going to plan as Tommy Oar scored his first goal for Brisbane since 2009 to open the scoring, before a flat spell before the half time break let the Jets back into the game. Second half goals on the back of defensive errors to Andrew Nabbout and Morten Nordstrand see Brisbane still searching for the first A-League win of 2017 as they head to a venue which has been anything but friendly over the years.

In 15 previous visits to AAMI Park, Brisbane have won just the 2 games, with the last of those back in January 2014. All up in Melbourne things are equally bad, with just 5 wins from 26 matches against both sides from the Victorian capital.

What have they done lately?
Since these two sides met in round one both sides fortunes have been different, with Brisbane having a steady season in the top four, while Victory have recovered from a slow start including a comprehensive derby loss before finding form in recent times with five straight wins as part of an eight game unbeaten run.

Throughout their unbeaten run, Victory’s attacking stars have really hit some form, with the likes of Marco Rojas, James Troisi and Besart Berisha all in goal scoring form. Berisha in particular is in excellent form, with the former Brisbane striker leading the race for the golden boot, breaking the leagues all-time record along the way.

Recent Form
Melbourne– WWWWW

Top Scorer
– Jamie Maclaren (6)
Melbourne– Besart Berisha (11)

Expected Line-ups
– Theo, Hingert, North, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Borrello, Petratos, Oar, Maclaren.
Substitutes– Young, Bowles, Pepper, Broich, Arana.
Omitted– Konstandopoulos, D’Agostino.

Despite the back to back losses, it’s unlikely that John Aloisi will make many –if any- changes to his side for this clash, as he relies upon those who’ve been regulars in the side to end the losing streak.

Should a change be made, it will almost certainly be in the wide attacking roles, where the likes of Manuel Arana or Brandon Borrello could get an opportunity. Young duo Nicholas D’Agostino and Nathan Konstandopoulos –who were added to the squad this week- would do a good job on the bench if given an opportunity. It’s just unlikely they get the chance.

Melbourne– Thomas, Geria, Ansell, Donachie, Broxham, Valeri, Bozanic, Rojas, Troisi, Ben Khalfallah, Berisha.
Substitutes– Acton, Georgievski, Mahazi, Ingham, Austin.
Omitted– Beister, Nigro.

With a five match winning run and on the back of a strong showing against Adelaide last week, it’s likely that Kevin Muscat will keep the changes to a minimum. With Alan Baro suspended due to five yellow cards a change at the back will be required, with a pairing of James Donachie and Nick Ansell likely. Outside of that it should be business as usual for Melbourne who will be looking to close the gap on Sydney FC at the top of the table.

This season against Melbourne Victory
Round 1
– Brisbane Roar 1-1 Melbourne Victory

These two sides opened up the season at Suncorp Stadium on a Friday night in what was a match that an even contest that bore similarities to the dramatic finals game back in May. After Mitch Austin scored the season’s first goal inside the last ten minutes, it was a Luke DeVere half volley from a free-kick in the sixth minute of stoppage time which earned Brisbane a point.

All-Time Record against Melbourne Victory



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