Christmas comes early with a Harvey Norman Friday night blockbuster in Brissy. Who will write their own Christmas fairytale as the Summer of Football blasts off in the Sunshine State!
Friday, 23 December 2016
Brisbane Roar FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 6:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 6.30pm (AEDT), SBS VICELAND from 7:30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 612 ABC Brisbane, 666 ABC Canberra, 702 ABC Sydney, ABC Local Radio Qld/NSW, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio), Hawkesbury Radio
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #BRIvWSW
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 11.Tommy OAR, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.ARANA, 17. Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 24.Connor O’TOOLE (promoted), 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO (promoted)
Unavailable: 10.Brett HOLMAN (knee – 3 weeks)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 8.DIMAS (c), 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Artiz BORDA, 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 23.Lachlan SCOTT
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Shannon COLE (promoted), 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE (promoted)
Unavailable: 9.Kerem BULUT (ankle – one week)
Get set for an early Christmas cracker at Suncorp as the in-form Roar host a Wanderers side desperate for some festive cheer heading into 2017.
Last week John Aloisi’s side made it nine games without defeat after coming away with a hard-earned 2-1 win against the Mariners in Gosford.
Almost under the radar, Roar has moved into third spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder and well-placed for an assault on some silverware in the New Year.
They are an excellent football team. Well-drilled, incredibly disciplined, hard-working and pack plenty of quality and experience. And talismanic striker Jamie Maclaren isn't too bad either.
Wanderers boss Tony Popovic can only crave the consistency from his side which Roar is demonstrating right now.
When everything clicks the Red and Black have been irresistible during the 2016/17 Season.
But we’ve seen it only in flashes, never more evident than last weekend’s clash with Wellington.
The Wanderers were excellent as they raced to a 2-0 lead, only throw it away and come back across the Tasman with a 2-2 draw. Their huge fanbase are pulling their hair out right now.
Wanderers have fallen out of the top six and have work to do to play finals footy, especially with an AFC Champions League campaign thrown in from February.
It makes this a vital clash and should ensure an entertaining clash in front of an expected big crowd.
ROUTE TO GOAL
There has been 23 goals in the past five meetings between these two at an average of 4.6 goals per game, so this shapes as another pre-Chrissy thriller!
No prizes for guessing who Wanderers will single out as the danger man on Friday night. It’s Jamie Maclaren.
“Macca” just loves playing the Wanderers, scoring eight times against them in his last five appearances, including one at Spotless last month.
And the speedy Caltex Socceroo is in the type of form to keep that run going, having netted in each of his last four Hyundai A-League games.
Roar sat deep and looked to hit Western Sydney on the counter in that last clash and it's an option again, using the pace of Maclaren, Oar, Borrello, Petratos and Arana to get in behind their leaky defence.
Coach Aloisi is pragmatic enough to play that way at home - it's why his team is successful.
The Wanderers on the other hand have conceded 21 goals from 11 games this campaign, the same number they conceded in the entire season they won the Premiership in the 2012/13 Season.
It’s a major issue for Popovic and puts more pressure on the guys at the other end to deliver in front of goals.
While striker Brendon Santalab – with six goals – has been doing his bit, no one else has been able to find the net regularly.
But Mitch Nichols got off the mark against the Nix last weekend and the Wanderers will hope it’s the start of many more from the playmaker, who contributed 10 last season.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Jerrad Tyson. With the Wanderers signing gloveman Vedran Janjetovic this week, the pressure is on the club’s current no.1 to perform to try and keep his spot once the transfer window opens and Janjetovic is available to play.
FORM LINES (last five games)
Brisbane Roar 2-1 Western Sydney Wanderers