2017-18 A-League Round 13 Match Preview- Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar

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(Morne de Klerk/Getty Images AsiaPac)

 

After conceding the points late in the pre-Christmas fixture against Perth Glory, Brisbane head to Adelaide for their final game of 2017 on Saturday afternoon in Round 13 of the A-League season.

Brisbane played quite well for the first 60 minutes against the Glory last week with returning midfielder Thomas Kristensen outlining his importance to the side with a vintage performance in midfield, before the lack of fitness for the retuning players showed as Perth pounced to secure the points.

This week Brisbane head to an Adelaide side who have been one of the League’s better sides this season for a game which isn’t a must win in terms of keeping the season alive, however with Champions League qualification on the horizon and the potential for a busy schedule over the second half of the season picking up points is vital.

Injury Update
Michael Theo- Finger (2 weeks)
Daniel Bowles- Hamstring (1 week)
Avram Papadopoulos- Suspended (3 games)
Jade North- Groin (TBC)
Joe Caletti- Foot (10 weeks)
Brett Holman- Knock (1 week)
Ivan Franjic- Quad (2 weeks)
Eric Bautheac- Hamstring (4 weeks)
Nicholas D’Agostino- Ankle (TBC)

Recent Form– LLDWL
Top Scorer– Massimo Maccarone (6)

Team news
The injury crisis continues at the Roar with Nick D’Agostino (ankle) and Daniel Bowles (hamstring) added to the extensive injury list. There is some good news on the injury front however with Shannon Brady set to make his first appearance of the season in the National Youth League this weekend.

The injury for D’Agostino opens up a spot in the front third for somebody else and the likes of Corey Gameiro and youngster Rahmat Akbari in line for a first start of the season. John Aloisi was coy about who would get the chance at training on Friday morning, however given the cautious approach taken with Gameiro so far it could be the youngster Akbari who makes his first start in the senior team.

Expected Brisbane Roar XI– Young, Hingert, Devere, Pepper, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Akbari, Skapetis, Ben Khalfallah, Maccarone.
Substitutes– White, O’Toole, Oxborrow, Leck, Gameiro.
Omitted- D’Agostino, Ingham.

The opposition
Despite an injury list which at times has rivalled that of Brisbane, Adelaide have seen a resurgence this season under Marco Kurz who has instilled a strong work ethic with the Reds this season. The upside of injuries is always the chance for younger players to impress and that has been the case for the Reds with Ryan Strain, Mark Ochieng, Ben Warland, George Blackwood, Ryan Kitto and former Brisbane midfielder Nathan Konstandopoulos all getting a regular run in the side.

Recent Form– WLWLW
Top Scorer– Ryan Kitto (5)

Team News
Marco Kurz will welcome back Danish winger Johan Absalonsen from a prolonged injury forced absence for this game. Defender Ersan Gulum is also available once again having served his suspension, however Vince Lia will miss the game due to a knee injury.

Expected Adelaide United XI– Izzo, Strain, Elsey, Gulum, Garuccio, Konstandopoulos, Isaias, Adlung, Mileusnic, Kitto, Blackwood.
Substitutes– Margush, Marrone, Ochieng, Absalonsen, Stamatelopoulos.
Omitted– Regan, O’Doherty.

2017-18 Record v Adelaide United Round 2– Brisbane Roar (Maccarone 8’) 1-2 Adelaide United (Kitto 88’, Absalonsen 90+2’)

Stats, Facts & Figures
– Matt McKay will make his 250th first team appearance for Brisbane Roar in this game

– Brendan White will become the 138th player to represent Brisbane Roar if he makes an appearance.

All-Time Record against Adelaide United

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2017-18 A-League R12 Recap- Late sucker punch secures Glory for Perth

Brisbane Roar (1) Maccarone 38’
Perth Glory (2) Keogh 80’, Castro 82’
7,034 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Brisbane Roar have rounded out their home 2017 schedule with a frustrating 2-1 loss at home to Perth Glory on Thursday night. Massimo Maccarone gave Brisbane the lead approaching half time before half time substitute Andy Keogh and Diego Castro combined to score twice in two minutes to steal the points away from home for the Glory.

Goals
38’ (1-0) A fantastic ball over the top from Fahid Ben Khalfallah found Massimo Maccarone making a run in behind the Glory defence and Brisbane’s marquee beat Reddy at the far post via a deflection to open the scoring.

80’ (1-1) Nick Feely’s long clearance over the top of the Roar side was picked up by Castro who managed to spring the offside trap before squaring the ball to Andy Keogh for a tap in.

82’ (1-2) Two minutes later Joseph Mills made a surging run down the left before crossing to Keogh, who returned the favour by teeing up Castro for the winner.

Team News
Brisbane XI– Young, Hingert, Pepper, Devere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Skapetis, D’Agostino, Ben Khalfallah, Maccarone.
Substitutions- Gameiro for Skapetis (61’), Oxborrow for Kristensen (80’), O’Toole for Devere (80’).
Unused Substitutes– White, Akbari.
Yellow Cards– Kristensen (50’), Gameiro (89’), Hingert (90+3’).
Red Cards– Nil.

Melbourne City XI– Reddy, Walker, Poscoliero, Lowry, Mills, Wilson, Andreu, Harold, Castro, Nichols, Knowles.
Substitutions– Keogh for Knowles (46’), Feely for Reddy (69’), Torres for Andreu (73’).
Unused Substitutes– Grant, Chianese.
Yellow Cards– Mills (61’), Walker (71’), Keogh (75’)
Red Cards– Nil.

Up next
Brisbane are away from home following the Christmas period with a trip to Adelaide United on December 30th in a game which will be important


2017-18 A-League Round 12 Match Preview- Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory

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(Chris Hyde/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Round 12 of the A-League and Brisbane Roar play their final home game for 2017 as Brisbane Roar take on Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium tonight.

Brisbane made a slow start on Sunday evening against the Victory and despite a second half fight back from the Roar, it was Melbourne who ran away with an important three points which propelled them back into the finals race.

The big story of the last week has been the continually growing injury crisis which sees nine players currently out with injuries as John Aloisi seeks to fight out reason for the lengthy list which has destabilised his squad so far this season.

The initial theory of the training ground being the root cause of the problem has been debunked however with independent experts coming in this week claiming the clubs Ballymore training base is up to standard, so the search for answers is now seemingly back at square one.

Injury Update
Michael Theo- Finger (2 weeks)
Avram Papadopoulos- Suspended (4 games)
Jade North- Groin (1 week)
Ivan Franjic- Quad (2 weeks)
Brett Holman- Knock (1 week)
Shannon Brady- Foot (TBC)
Eric Bautheac- Hamstring (6 weeks)

Recent Form– LDWLW
Top Scorer– Massimo Maccarone (5)

Team news
There is some relief from the injury crisis for John Aloisi with the return of Luke Devere from a knee injury along with attacking duo Corey Gameiro and Nick D’Agostino who both missed Sunday’s loss to Melbourne Victory. It wouldn’t be Brisbane Roar at the moment however if the injury list didn’t get a new name and the unfortunate player this week is Ivan Franjic, who is out with a quad injury which he picked up on Sunday evening.

Selection wise it’s likely that D’Agostino will return to the starting line-up in place of the injured Franjic, while Corey Brown could get his left full-back spot back from Connor O’Toole. Outside of that it’s unlikely that other changes would be made given the extensive injury list, however this could be a good time to give Massimo Maccarone a rest from the starting line-up.

Expected Brisbane Roar XI– Young, Hingert, Bowles, Pepper, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Skapetis, D’Agostino, Ben Khalfallah, Maccarone.
Substitutes– White, O’Toole, Oxborrow, Akbari, Gameiro.
Omitted- Devere, Leck.

The opposition
Perth Glory have seen a rather similar start to the season as the Roar, with a raft of injuries leading to inconsistent performances and a place just on the edge of the finals and playing catch-up as the halfway mark of the season arrives.

Perth’s form has been inconsistent this season however of their four wins, three were at home with Kenny Lowe’s side losing five of seven trips away from the west this season. Glory’s only win away from home this season was in November against City, with Perth 13 goals on the road this term.

At the weekend the Glory had a 1-0 win at home over Wellington Phoenix, with marquee Diego Castro capping another impressive performance securing the only goal of the game.

Recent Form– WLLWL
Top Scorer– Adam Taggart (3)

Team News
Andy Keogh is available for Kenny Lowe tonight after overcoming injury, as will Alex Grant who will strengthen a defence which has conceded more goals than anyone other than bottom placed Wellington this season. Young star Jacob Italiano is however out of tonight’s game as he concludes a transfer to German Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach, a path which former Brisbane attacker Kwame Yeboah took back in 2013.

Expected Perth Glory XI– Reddy, Walker, Grant, Lowry, Mills, Harold, Nichols, Wilson, Chianese, Castro, Keogh.
Substitutes– Feely, Poscoliero, Brimmer, Andreu, Knowles.
Omitted– Timmins, Mustafa.

All-Time Record against Perth Glory

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2017-18 R7 W-League Recap- Roar go top with win over City

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Top of the table at Christmas(Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Brisbane Roar (2) Toby 61’, Gorry 72’
Melbourne City (0)
3,204 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Brisbane Roar have returned to the top of the W-League table after a 2-0 win over defending Champions Melbourne City. Second half goals from Allira Toby and Katrina Gorry were enough to secure a first win over Melbourne City in the W-League for the Roar in the biggest win of the season to date.

Goals
61’ (1-0) Brisbane opened the scoring just past the hour mark on the counter attack, with Clare Polkinghorne stepping in to dissolve a dangerous City attack by taking the ball from Jess Fishlock before playing a long ball over the top of the City attack. Allira Toby got on the end of the perfect ball from the Brisbane captain and lobbed over the stranded Lydia Williams to open the scoring and cap of a good piece of play.

72’ (2-0) Brisbane doubled their lead with 20 minutes to play as Katrina Gorry’s free kick beat everyone and wound up going into the back of the net at the far post.

Team News
Brisbane XI
– Arnold, Torpey, Polkinghorne, Pickett, Tathem, Boureille, Butt, Gorry, Raso, Gielnik, Cheung.
Substitutions- O’Brien for Tathem (56’), Toby for Cheung (60’), Norrie for Gielnik (81’).
Unused Substitutes– Worth.
Yellow Cards– Nil.
Red Cards– Nil.

Melbourne City XI– Williams, Stott, Barnes, Kennedy, Catley, Luik, Kinga, Fishlock, Hatch, Dobson, Simon.
Substitutions– Crummer for Simon (73’).
Unused Substitutes– Hudson, Vlajnic, Jackson.
Yellow Cards– Kennedy (55’).
Red Cards– Nil.

Stats, Facts & Figures
– This was Brisbane’s first win over Melbourne City at the sixth attempt, with the defending W-League Champions winning the previous five encounters.

Up next
Brisbane will be top of the W-League table at Christmas as the league enters the final six rounds of the competition, with the Roar resuming festivities over in the West against Perth Glory on December 29th in a top two battle.


2017-18 A-League R11 Recap- Slow Start costs Brisbane

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(Chris Hyde/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Brisbane Roar (1) Maccarone 56’
Melbourne Victory (2) Williams 12’, Barbarouses 19’

Brisbane’s second half fight back fell short on Sunday night at Suncorp Stadium as Melbourne Victory picked up a vital three points between two sides who are in an unfamiliar place on the table. Early goals from Rhys Williams and Kosta Barbarouses got the Victory on their way, with Brisbane striker Massimo Maccarone getting a goal back for the hosts.

Early Victory dominance and Goalkeeping heroics
Melbourne Victory started the game in a customary strong way, controlling the opening exchanges and it was left to Jamie Young to deny Kosta Barbarouses and Jason Geria from close range and it was little surprise when Rhys Williams opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a strong header from Leroy George’s corner. George then linked up with Barbarouses to score a classic Victory counter attack which doubled the lead, and but for Jamie Young the score could have been greater going into the half time interval.

Disjoined Brisbane attack
For most of the season Brisbane have been searching for fluency in the front third and that was once again on display Sunday night with the Roar lacking cohesion going forward. On one of the rare occasions Brisbane found fluency, Matt McKay played in Massimo Maccarone for a 1v1 with Lawrence Thomas and he dinked the ball over the top of the keeper. The introduction of youngsters Rahmat Akbari and Daniel Leck added a spark to the front third, but it wasn’t enough.

Even more Injuries
Brisbane’s lengthy injury list has been in the spotlight this week and while there has been good news with the long awaited return of Thomas Kristensen, the list continues to grow with both Ivan Franjic and Peter Skapetis being withdrawn under injury concerns. Add to that the recent injuries to both Joe Caletti and Nick D’Agostino and it seems like a never ending run.

Youngsters get their chance
The upside of injuries is the chance for youngsters to make the breakthrough into the first team and the latest players to get their chance are Rahmat Akbari –who has had a taste of A-League action earlier in the season- and Daniel Leck who made his debut for the senior side off the bench. Both showed plenty to suggest they have a future in the game and with the injury situation seemingly worsening by the week there’s a good chance the duo may get another chance to impress on Thursday night against the Glory.

Goals
12’ (0-1) Victory opened the scoring after Rhys Williams rose highest to meet Leroy George’s corner and headed the ball into the top corner leaving Jamie Young with no chance.

19’ (0-2) Melbourne doubled their lead with a classic Victory counter attack with George finding space on the left and playing a perfect low cross over to Barbarouses on the right hand side of the penalty area who couldn’t miss from point blank range.

56’ (1-2) Brisbane Roar got themselves a lifeline after Matt McKay picked up the ball on the halfway line and played the ball in behind the defence for Massimo Maccarone to run onto, and the Roar’s marquee man dinked the ball over the onrushing Thomas to get a goal back for the home side.

Team News
Brisbane XI– Young, Hingert, Pepper, Bowles, O’Toole, McKay, Oxborrow, Franjic Skapetis, Ben Khalfallah, Maccarone.
Substitutions– Akbari for Franjic (60’), Kristensen for Oxborrow (64’), Leck for Skapetis (67’).
Unused Substitutes– White, Brown.
Yellow Cards- Franjic (27’), Bowles (81’)
Red Cards- Nil.

Melbourne Victory XI– Thomas, Geria, Deng, Williams, Broxham, Valeri, Sanchez, Troisi, George, Barbarouses, Berisha.
Substitutions- Nigro for Broxham (45’), Ingham for George (71’), Hope for Sanchez (89’).
Unused Substitutes– Acton, Theoharous.
Yellow Cards- Deng (55’), Thomas (91’).
Red Cards- Nil.

Stats, Facts & Figures
– Daniel Leck becomes the 137th player to represent Brisbane Roar in a competitive game. Leck also becomes the 27th different player used in the first team this season.

Up next
Brisbane Roar have little time to pick themselves up following this latest setback, with their final home game of 2017 on Thursday night against Perth Glory who had a much needed win at home against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night.


NYL 2017-18 R5 Recap- Niyongabire brace sinks Young Roar

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Brisbane Roar (1) Devere 41’
Adelaide United (4) Konstandopoulos 28’, Niyongabire 64’ & 90+2’, Irabona 66’
At Lanham Park, Grange Thistle

Brisbane Roar have suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Adelaide United on Saturday morning at Lanham Park in Round 5 of the National Youth League. A first half goal from Kristin Konstandopoulos got the Reds on their way before Luke Devere got a goal just before the half time for the home side capitalising on a period of dominance.

A double change at half time changed the game for the visitors with Pacifique Niyongabire and Aladin Irabona combining to score twice in five minutes to give Adelaide a comfortable 3-1 lead, before Niyongabire rounded out the scoring in stoppage time.

From the first team perspective both Luke Devere and Dane Ingham started the game with Devere playing 64 minutes in his return from injury with a massive knee brace on, while Ingham played the full 90 minutes at right back in his first playing time since going away with the New Zealand National Team back in early November.

Perhaps with a hint towards tomorrow, midfield duo Rahmat Akbari and Adam Sawyer were left out of today’s game, while Daniel Leck was withdrawn at half time after a brief chat with Aloisi. Given the injury concerns in the first team, it stands to reason that atleast one of the trio will feature in some capacity tomorrow.

Goals
28’ (0-1)
Adelaide midfielder Kristin Konstandopoulos opened the scoring for the visiting Adelaide side with a chip over Roar keeper Freke after a prior shot in the box was blocked.

41’ (1-1) Brisbane got their equaliser just before the half time break with Luke Devere scoring from close range from a second phase play at a short corner. 61’ (1-2) Half time substitute Niyongabire scores a tap in after a mix-up in the Brisbane backline.

64’ (1-3) Adelaide’s second half time substitute made it 3-1 just minutes later, scoring from close range following a counter attack.

90+2’ (1-4) Niyongabire scores a tidy second for the game late in second half stoppage time following a good run.

Team News Brisbane XI– Freke, Beakhurst, Reardon, DeVere, Trewin, Ingham, Bafford, Driver, Leck, Yoon, Muratovic.

Substitutions– Saint for Leck (46’), Wellsmore for Reardon (53’), Aloisi for Devere (66’).

Unused Substitutes- Griffiths.

Adelaide XI– Richards, Crout, Warland, D’Arrigo, L McCabe, K Konstandopoulos, Devereux, Armiento, H McCabe, Beric, Brook.

Substitutions– Niyongabire for Brook (46’), Irabona for Armiento (46’)

Unused Substitutes– Cook, Nunn.

Up next
The National Youth League breaks for the Christmas weekend before launching into the second half of the season with a home game against Melbourne City on December 29th and after today’s result the Young Roar will need a win in order to keep their hopes alive of a first Grand Final berth. Kick-off is at 4.30pm at Lanham Park.


2017-18 Free Agency Preview

With the calendar ticking over to December 1st, A-League players whose contracts expire at seasons end are now able to be approached by rival A-League clubs.

Before delving into the rest of this, the players listed as free agents on this graphic are based upon readily available public information such as press releases from clubs and media reports. No speculation or rumours. As a standard rule- if it isn’t confirmed by the club involved or doesn’t have quotes from the player it isn’t official. I will also say this list includes players currently on injury replacement contracts who aren’t measured as part of the squad lists. Here’s the full list of available free agents.

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*Since this list was put together, Adelaide United have re-signed Ryan Kitto and Nathan Konstandopoulos -2 years- and Nikola Mileusnic -1yr-.

As mentioned the list of Brisbane Roar players out of contract at seasons end is rather extensive. Infact as things stand the only players locked in for next season and beyond are Eric Bautheac, Shannon Brady, Luke Devere, Dane Ingham and Thomas Kristensen, in addition to scholarship duo Jay Barnett and Bryce Bafford. Here’s the full list of Brisbane free agents.

Brisbane list (21)
Goalkeepers– Michael Theo, Brendan White, Jamie Young.

Defenders– Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Ivan Franjic, Jack Hingert, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Avram Papadopoulos.

Midfielders– Joe Caletti, Brett Holman, Emilio Martinez, Matt McKay, Mitchell Oxborrow, Jacob Pepper.

Forwards– Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Nick D’Agostino, Corey Gameiro, Massimo Maccarone, Peter Skapetis.

There is some conjecture around the status of both Papadopoulos and Caletti with the Daily Telegraphs list earlier in the week claiming the duo are locked in for next season, however there is no conformation of that. Either way there are between 19 and 21 players off contract at seasons end, including Brendan White who is on a mature aged rookie deal for this season.

The list ranges from players brought in to offer short term experience and quality, to home grown players through the youth system and recycled players from around the competition.

The veterans
Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Corey Brown, Ivan Franjic, Jack Hingert, Brett Holman, Massimo Maccarone, Matt McKay, Jade North, Avram Papadopoulos, Michael Theo, Jamie Young.

Over the past couple of season we’ve seen experienced veterans brought in to fill a void in the squad and to help bring along the younger players in the squad. Papadopoulos, Holman, Maccarone and Ben Khalfallah have all brought value to the squad over the past 18 months, however with the younger players starting to emerge it seems likely that they will be moving on at the end of the season.

It might seem strange to include Hingert and Brown in the experienced duo both have established themselves as first team players under Aloisi and have played around 100 times for the Roar. As a home grown player through the youth system Brown seems likely to stay in Brisbane, however the recently acquired Ivan Franjic does complicate matters at right full-back. How that battle plays out between now and the end of the season will likely dictate what both do going forward.

Since arriving in Brisbane in 2015, John Aloisi has had the luxury of two quality experienced keepers at his disposal and both Michael Theo and Jamie Young have performed strongly when called upon. Both now however are the wrong side of 30 more than capable of starting for rival clubs in the league. It’s possible that both will remain next year but it feels as though someone will move on at seasons end.

While some of the veterans on this list were always short term signings, the opposite is true of both Jade North and Matt McKay who have been part of successful Brisbane sides for a long time. Despite being both 35 (North) and 34 (McKay), both have held up well so far this season and given them importance over the journey here in Brisbane any decision on their futures will likely be left to the players themselves.

The youngsters
Joe Caletti, Nick D’Agostino, Emilio Martinez, Connor O’Toole, Peter Skapetis, Brendan White.

After impressing in the back end of last season, the injuries to senior players have opened up playing time for Brisbane’s younger talent and both Joe Caletti and Nick D’Agostino have been among the Roar’s best this season and look to be part of the long term future.

Connor O’Toole and Peter Skapetis have also impressed in limited playing time this season and have shown enough promise to suggest they are solid members of the squad who can step in when required. Emilio Martinez showed some encouraging signs in both the NPL Queensland and in the senior team over the pre-season, however a knee injury has ruled him out so far this season.

The future of mature aged rookie Brendan White will largely depend on what happens with the experience goalkeeping duo ahead of him in the pecking order, however if one of Theo or Young move on it would be a strong possibility that White would then be retained as the back-up.

The squad players
Daniel Bowles, Corey Gameiro, Mitchell Oxborrow, Jacob Pepper.

Finally to the players who add depth to the squad and in the case of both Gameiro and Bowles it will have to be a case of waiting to see where they are after suffering long term injuries, particularly for Gameiro who has missed the last three seasons with knee injuries. Both have been solid so far in limited minutes but it’s too early to judge yet. The case for Oxborrow and Pepper will largely come down to the balance of the squad and alternative options, and it could wind up being a case of one or the other.