2016-17 Round 17 Preview- Brisbane v West Sydney

After two straight road games Brisbane return to Suncorp Stadium for three games over the next week which will go a long way to defining their 2016-17 season. The crucial Asian Champions League clash against Global FC and the home game against unbeaten Sydney FC are to come later in the week, but for now we focus in on the class against Western Sydney.

Ahead of the busy upcoming schedule Brisbane picked up an important three points across the Tasman last weekend, putting in a solid display that broke a four game winless run to secure a first win in 2017.

It was also Jamie Maclaren’s first goal in open place since round 11 against Central Coast, with the striker showing plenty of energy off the bench as he looks to regain the strong form from the second half of last season.

What have they done lately?
Western Sydney have been  a solid mid-table team for large parts of the season so far, however in recent weeks they’ve shown signs that they are beginning to get things right on a consistent basis.

A credible 0-0 draw away to Sydney FC two weeks ago where they overran the Sky Blues in the second half in terms of chances was a start, before a win last Sunday against Newcastle in their most recent game.

In some respects the season for Western Sydney can be defined by their problems upfront with a league high 9 draws this season outlining their inability to finish games off. The emergence of youngster Lachlan Scott, who scored his first A-League goal at the weekend, in addition to the return of Brendan Santalab indicates the Wanderers are starting to build a solid attacking unit.

Recent Form
Brisbane-
WLLLD
Western Sydney- WDLDD

Top Scorer
Brisbane-
Jamie Maclaren (8)
Western Sydney- Brendan Santalab (6)

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

For John Aloisi this is the start of a trick period for him with so many games in such a short time frame, with squad management set to play an important role over the next week weeks.

This weekend specifically though he is boosted by the timely return from injury of Brett Holman, who figures to make his first appearance since the home game against Sydney FC back in November. Thomas Broich is also available after being rested last weekend, although Corey Brown is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card against the Phoenix.

In his place at left back is likely to be Daniel Bowles after he came on midway through the second half when Brown picked up a knock. If the squad lists are to be believed, Jacob Pepper’s utility role will be extended this week, with no specialist defender named amongst the extended squad this week.

Western Sydney- Janjetovic, Neville, Cornthwaite, Aspropotamitis, Clisby, Baccus, Dimas, Nichols, Martinez, Sotirio, Scott.
Substitutes- Tyson, Hamill, Kusukami, Antonis, Santalab.
Omitted- Pinatares, Lustica.

After a win last week at home to the Jets it’s unlikely that Tony Popovic will be looking to make changes to his side. With Lachlan Scott scoring his first goal last weekend, it’s likely that Brendan Santalab will have to be patient and occupy the super sub role he played so well last season.

This season against Western Sydney Wanderers
Round 8-
Western Sydney Wanderers 1-1 Brisbane Roar
Round 12- Brisbane Roar 1-1 Western Sydney Wanderers

The two meetings this season between these two sides have been largely even games where both have had their moments, but perhaps in keeping with the season generally for both sides they haven’t been able to put the other away.

Brisbane have taken the lead in both encounters so far this season, with Western Sydney fighting back to secure a point. In the most recent clash between the two, Corey Brown scored sensational volley from a Thomas Broich cross, before Dimas Delgado stepped up from a free-kick on the edge of the box to draw the visitors level.

All-Time record against Western Sydney Wanderers

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