Brisbane’s hunt for the Premiership shows no signs of slowing but Round 19's opener at Suncorp looms as a banana skin against a rejuvenated and reinforced Newcastle Jets on Friday night.
Friday, 12 February 2016
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 7:00 PM (Local) (8:00 PM (AEDT))
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT), SBS TWO from 7:30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 612 ABC Brisbane, 1233 ABC Newcastle, ABC Local Radio Qld, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Crocmedia A-League Live ( www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio ).
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), 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Devante CLUT (promoted), 20.Shannon BRADY
Unavailable: 6.Jerome POLENZ (quadriceps – 8 weeks), 11.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (quadriceps – 6 weeks)
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, 14.Mitch COOPER, 16.Steven UGARKOVIC, 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Ben KENNEDY (Gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Nicholas COWBURN, 28.Ryan KITTO
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (return from injury), 28.Ryan KITTO (return from injury)
Unavailable: 11.Labinot Haliti (knee – season)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: Ashley Beecham
Assistant Referee 2: David Walsh
Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett
How quickly things can change in the Hyundai A-League.
A fortnight ago doubts emerged over Brisbane’s credentials after back-to-back heavy defeats, where they conceded eight goals.
But two wins on the bounce, including their 4-0 drubbing of the Mariners last weekend, and its only goal difference separating Roar from the competition summit.
If Brisbane has endured their mid-season slump, then things are looking good for the remainder of the campaign.
The mood is a lot brighter at the Jets as well after they shocked Melbourne City 2-1 in round 18.
It’s reignited the side’s belief they can still push for the finals and will ensure they go all-out at Suncorp for another valuable three points.
But they’ll need to improve their recent record against Roar, having not won any of the last four clashes.
Roar boss John Aloisi is unlikely to make any changes to his squad given their impressive showing last time out. There was doubt over Henrique but the 30-year-old appears to have shrugged off his hamstring tweak.
The Jets have Ben Kantarovski and Ryan Kitto back in an extended squad. But Scott Miller should keep faith with the XI that performed so well against City.
-Brisbane Roar is undefeated in their last four Hyundai A-League matches against Newcastle (W3, D1) and have conceded only three goals in that span.
-Newcastle hasn’t scored a goal in their last five away Hyundai A-League fixtures, dating back to October 2015.
-The Roar has maintained the highest possession percentage across the Hyundai A-League this season (57.9%).
-The Jets have allowed their opponents 104 shots on target this Hyundai A-League season, 63 more than they have attempted themselves (41).
ROUTE TO GOAL
The goals have been flowing for Roar of late, banging in seven in their last two.
Aloisi has his attack firing at the right time and the ominous sign is they are getting joy from all over the park.
While Maclaren is the club’s leading scorer and main man, the likes of Petratos, Broich, Henrique and Borrello are also playing their part.
The beauty of the way Brisbane is playing is that those attacking players aren’t purely restricted to one side of the pitch, adaptable and interchangeable in a free-flowing style.
It’s been superb to watch. And Broich has looked like his old self in recent weeks.
While the Jets got back to winning ways last weekend, goals – especially on the road – have proven hard to come by.
In fact, the Jets haven’t scored in five straight games away from Hunter Stadium.
But even without David Carney, they have looked more threatening since Nordstrand and Ugarkovic have come in.
The ex-Danish international has been especially impressive - and what about his pass for Trifunovic’s second goal last weekend? Pure class!
Miller has hinted he’ll keep both Nordstrand and Brazilian Leonardo on the bench to use as impact weapons in the second half.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Milos Trifunovic. The Serbian striker has been under-fire for much of the season but a brilliant brace to topple City last week was the perfect response for his critics. Miller will be hoping it’s a sign of things to come.
Brisbane Roar 3-1 Newcastle Jets