Hyundai A-League preview: Roar v Jets

They might be fighting for the Premiers’ Plate but Brisbane Roar are yet to tick one box this season: beat Newcastle Jets. History says that will be far from straightforward at Suncorp Stadium.

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Sunday, 3 April 2016

Brisbane Roar FC v Newcastle Jets

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEST)

Referee: Strebre Delovski

Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald

Assistant Referee 2: David Walsh

Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: Grandstand Digital*, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.

*After NRL/AFL coverage

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #BRIvNEW

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets 

Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 24.Tommy OAR, 28.Brandon BORRELLO

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 17.Matt McKAY (return from international duty), 19.Jack HINGERT (return from suspension)

Roar skipper Matt McKay skips clear of a Victory defender at AAMI Park.

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Cameron WATSON, 7.Enver ALIVODIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 10.LEONARDO, 12.Andy BRENNAN, 14.Mitch COOPER, 16.Steven UGARKOVIC, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Nicholas COWBURN, 28.Ryan KITTO

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Daniel MULLEN (returns from suspension), 7.Enver ALIVODIC (returns after birth of son)

Scott Miller talks tactics to Daniel Mullen in Round 1.

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 11.Labinot HALITI (knee – season)

#BRIvNEW

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Unbeaten against Brisbane Roar this season, armed with a fine record at Suncorp Stadium and free of expectation; Newcastle Jets could be the ripest of ‘banana skin’ opponents come Sunday.

Scott Miller’s men have twice come from behind to take a point from this fixture and will know a third would just about end their opponents’ title tilt.

Mitch Cooper celebrates his Round 19 equaliser for the Jets against the Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

The eight-placed Jets must reverse their recent run of form if an eighth win of the season is to become a reality.

Newcastle have been unable to build on a fruitful February which saw the Hunter outfit compile 10 points from a possible 12 to mount a late finals charge.

A more barren March – bookended by defeats to Perth Glory – has led to this match becoming a springboard for next weekend’s season-ending F3 Derby.

Complacency is the foremost obstacle for John Aloisi’s side to overcome as neutral eyes already look ahead to next week’s blockbuster in Melbourne.

Without three more points to take with them, that trip will have little to do with the top two let alone the Premiers’ Plate.

Dimitri Petratos (Roar) - Scored his fourth goal in six matches and was integral to Roar's first-half turnaround. The attacking mid is in the best form of his life.

Last round’s dramatic win over Sydney FC has them level with Melbourne City on 44 points, but a third premiership will only be possible if they first pass this test of nerve.

OPTA DATA

- Brisbane Roar has won 10 and drawn two of their 13 matches at home so far this Hyundai A-League campaign, though no team has beaten them more on home soil than Newcastle Jets (9 occasions).

- Newcastle Jets have scored only three goals in their last five Hyundai A-League matches and are without a win in their last four.

- No team have won more points from losing positions than Brisbane Roar in the Hyundai A-League this season (14) – level with Perth Glory.

- Five of the Jets’ 23 goals this season have come from the penalty spot (22%) – a Hyundai A-League high proportion.

ROUTE TO GOAL

After almost 11 full seasons of the Hyundai A-League, it’s testament to these two teams that they’ve never shared a scoreless draw in Queensland.

The last meeting – a 2-2 draw at Suncorp Stadium in January – suggested exactly why as the Jets refused to take a backwards step despite falling behind within six minutes.

Jets striker Milos Trifunovic celebrates scoring against Melbourne City.

One Jets goalscorer from that match, Mitch Cooper, started last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Perth Glory while the other, Milos Trifunovic, has spent the past two on the bench.

Neither player has netted since scoring in round 19 as Newcastle have managed just three goals over the last five games.

The returning Enver Alivodic was integral to his side’s most recent turnaround against Roar despite an unfortunate own-goal.

He and Ryan Kitto will lead Newcastle’s counter-attacks down the flanks.

Unlike his opposite numbers, Jamie Maclaren has continued to fire either side of his twin strikes against Newcastle this term.

Jamie Maclaren has been named in the EA Sports FIFA Team of the Week.

The hotshot striker even turned link-man for the 3-2 winner against Sydney FC as Brisbane cut straight through the middle of a paper-thin Sky Blues backline.

Tommy Oar, who now has 30 minutes worth of substitute appearances in the tank, provided the final pass in that sequence in a demonstration of the class he adds to Roar’s attack.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Jade North. The veteran defender helped launch Indigenous Football Week on Tuesday after captaining Roar to last round’s victory.

Roar's North helps launch Indigenous Football Week

FORM LINES

Brisbane Roar: LWWLW

Central Coast Mariners: LLLDL

PREDICTION

Brisbane Roar 3-1 Newcastle Jets