2016-17 Round 19 Preview- Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City

After Wednesday’s Asian Champions League play-off win over Shanghai earlier in the week now officially in the past, attention turns to tonight’s clash in round 19 of the 2016-17 and a clash with Melbourne City.

This run of games was always going to be telling one After a slow start to 2017, Brisbane have quietly gone on an three game unbeaten run in the league -5 in all competitions- and find themselves knocking on the door of a spot in the top two.

What have they done lately?
Melbourne City have been on a bit of a slide since the last time these two sides met back in November, with the newly crowned FFA Cup winners going on to win just two games of the nine games since the 1-1 draw in round 9.

That run of form has seen City drop from a place in the top 2, now sitting in fifth after Perth’s win over Adelaide last night. City have however undergone a managerial change in that time with John van’t Schip returning to Holland in January. His former assistant Michael Valkanis inherited the role until the end of the season and has thus far managed only two wins out of five.

So far in two clashes against City, Brisbane have picked up four points out of six, with a win in round four and a draw in the last meeting back in round 9.

Recent Form (A-League)
Brisbane- DWWLL
Melbourne– LLWLW

Top Scorer (A-League)
Brisbane-
Jamie Maclaren (8)
Melbourne– Bruno Fornaroli (12)

Expected Line-ups
For Brisbane this is third and final clash of the season against Melbourne City arrives as the fifth game in fifteen days and after a memorable win in Shanghai on Wednesday there figures to be some rotation in the squad for this game.

Michael Theo, Jacob Pepper, Brett Holman and Manuel Arana, who all stayed back in Australia with this game in mind, while Jade North is suspended and Jack Hingert is injured.

The real point of interest will be to see who starts at right back in tonight’s game, with both Dane Ingham and Jacob Pepper possible options. After his impressive debut against Global FC last week it should be Ingham who gets the nod in place of the injured Hingert, however with Pepper rested from the midweek trip the utility could find himself reprising a role he played a couple of times in the pre-season.

It was thought that John Aloisi would rest a number of his players due to the midweek trip to China and the clubs frustration at the fixture not being rescheduled, it does now however appear that it will be the strongest available side to take the field tonight in what is an important game.

Brisbane Roar- Theo, Ingham, Bowles, DeVere, Brown, Pepper, McKay, Holman, Borrello, Oar, Arana.
Substitutes-
Young, Crestani, Kristensen, Brady, Maclaren.
Omitted-
Broich, D’Agostino.

Due to an ill-disciplined performance in the Melbourne Derby last weekend, City will be without a number of important first team players. Captain Bruno Fornaroli, Fernando Brandan, Manny Muscat, Osama Malik and former Brisbane midfielder Luke Brattan will all be in the grandstands tonight.

Marquee striker Tim Cahill will also miss the match after getting a one game ban for a red card last week despite not getting on the park, while Dean Bouzanis will miss the next five games after comments he made in the direction of Besart Berisha. Add in long term injury casualties Steve Kuzmanovski and Corey Gameiro and City’s squad is down to the bare bones.

The one bit of good news for Michael Valkanis is that Michael Jakobsen appears to have overcome his calf injury and will likely be marshalling the a young side likely to feature some of their NYL winning youth squad.

Goalkeeper Yaren Sozer, defender Dylan Pierias and attacker Yusuf Ahmed could both be in line for a debut, while youngsters Braedyn Crowley, Christian Cavallo, Denis Genreau and Daniel Arzani could all get their chance.

Melbourne City- Sorensen, Franjic, Jakobsen, Tongyik, Rose, Kilkenny, Retre, Caceres, Fitzgerald, Kamau, Colazo.
Substitutes- Sozer, Pierias, Genreau, Arzani, Crowley.
Omitted- Cavallo, Ahmed.

Stats and Facts
– Cameron Crestani would become the 124th player to represent Brisbane Roar if he takes the field in this game.

– Brisbane hasn’t won in Melbourne since January 4, 2014, a 3-0 road win against Melbourne Victory.

– Brisbane also hasn’t beaten Melbourne City away from home since November 14, 2010.

All-Time Record against Melbourne City

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