2017-18 Round 18 Preview- Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC

It’s been a massive week for Brisbane Roar with three games in six days that could well shape the course of the season, and with an important win in the League, and a win to progress to the next round of Asian Champions League qualifying both in the bag attention now turns to a clash with league leading Sydney FC.

While this week has been busy, it’s nothing in comparison to what awaits in the next few days when there’s a long trip to China before a trip to  Melbourne, a city Brisbane haven’t won in since 2014.

What have they done lately?
Sydney FC have been the best side so far in the A-League this season, with Graham Arnolds side currently on course to fulfil their managers proclamation of going unbeaten for the season.

The Sky Blues success can be attributed to the fact that the fact they have both the most goals scored (38) and fewest conceded (8) see them now 11 points clear at the top of the table and seemingly set to pick up their second Premiers Plate in the next few weeks.

While plenty of praise has been given to both the attack and defence of the Sky Blue, it’s the midfield where the energetic duo of Josh Brillante and Brandon O’Neill have provided a platform for the sides attacking talent to shine.

Recent Form
Brisbane-
LLLWW*
Sydney-
WWDWW
*A-League form only

Top Scorer
Brisbane-
Jamie Maclaren (8)
Sydney-
Alex Brosque (9)

Expected Line-Ups
The real question for this game will be just how strong of a side will John Aloisi field in this fixture given the upcoming trip to Shanghai, but given the importance of this game I think it’s highly likely we see the best possible side deployed. Given that, the only real questions will be if Matt McKay and Jade North- who both started against Global FC- back up for their third game in six days.

Given Matt McKay was substituted at half time it’s likely that he will line up, however Daniel Bowles –who will also be in line for a 3rd game in 6 days could replace North at the heart of defence. Given their strong showings on Tuesday, there figures to be at least one spot on the bench for Shannon Brady and Joe Caletti.

Brisbane- Theo, Hingert, Bowles, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Oar, Holman, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Young, Pepper, Petratos, Arana, Brady.
Omitted-
North, Caletti.

Graham Arnold’s side is an incredibly settled one, however recent injuries and suspension at the back has forced him to shuffle his pack. Rhyan Grant returns from suspension this week, however due to Michael Zullo picking up his 5th caution of the season it’s likely that he will be deployed on the opposite side of the park at left back for this clash. That would mean Aaron Calver continues on in that right back spot.

Sydney- Vukovic, Calver, Wilkinson, Buijs, Brillante, O’Neill, Holosko, Ninkovic, Brosque, Bobo.
Substitutes- Redmayne, Carney, Dimitrijevic, Ibini, Simon.
Omitted-
Blackwood.

This season against Sydney FC
Round 7
Brisbane Roar 1-1 Sydney FC
Round 13- Sydney FC 2-0 Brisbane Roar

When these two sides first met this year in round 7 it was two midfielders who netted a pair of spectacular goals to share the spoils. A long range strike form Josh Brillante was cancelled out by a Thomas Kristensen volley, in a game where both sides had a number of chances.

In the second meeting between these two sides in Round 13 it was a comfortable win for the home side, with Alex Brosque and Milos Ninkovic getting on the score sheet. Former Brisbane attacker Brosque however saw red for a second bookable offence which looked like giving Brisbane a route back into the game, but they couldn’t fid a way through the 10 man Sydney defence.

All-Time Record Against Sydney FC

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