Hyundai A-League preview: Sydney FC v Roar

The runaway leaders end the calendar year home in the Harbour City with the Sky Blues looking to further extend their record start to the 2016/17 Season.

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MATCH DETAILS

Friday, 30 December 2016

Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar FC

Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))

Referee: Shaun Evans

Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn

Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick

Fourth Official: Luke Withell

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS VICELAND from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 612 ABC Brisbane, 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)

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

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au

Sydney FC are in the box seat to claim the Premiers Plate heading into the second half of the season.

Sydney FC Squad: 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Sebastian RYALL, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 31.Tomas MANOS

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 17.David CARNEY (promoted), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

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, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Joey KATEBIAN

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO (promoted), 33.Joey KATEBIAN (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 10.Brett HOLMAN (knee – 2 weeks)

Roar players celebrate a goal in their 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners.

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

In the most eye-catching Round 13 fixture, red-hot Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney FC welcome third-placed Roar to Allianz.

If Brisbane harbour realistic ambitions of hauling in the Sydney-siders, they simply must collect all three points in this mouth-watering clash.

That’s a daunting task though; Sydney FC have broken all manner of records in the first dozen matches of the season, charging unbeaten through the last three months, scoring more goals and conceding fewer than anyone else.

Such is their momentum, the sky-blue ribbons are already being prepared for the silverware it looks close to inevitable skipper Alex Brosque will lift at season’s end.

Brisbane have lost just once this season, but their progress has been stymied by draws – six in  total, including four consecutive 1-1 stalemates  – which see them nine points adrift of Sydney FC heading into this game.

John Aloisi's men are certainly worthy top four tenants and this meeting could be the best evidence yet of whether they are genuine top two contenders.

Corey Brown, Rhyan Grant

OPTA DATA

  • Brisbane Roar are undefeated in their last four games against Sydney FC (W2, D2), though they’ve won on only one of their last four trips to Sydney to face the Sky Blues. 
  • There have been 13 goals scored in the last three games played between these teams at Allianz Stadium, despite sharing a nil-all draw in Round 5 last season. 
  • Sydney FC have scored exactly four goals in six of their last 13 games, including each of their last two. 
  • Brisbane Roar are undefeated in their last five games away from home (W2, D3), though only once in that span have either they or their opposition scored more than once.

ROUTE TO GOAL

When it comes to the Sky Blues, take your pick. The goals have been well and truly shared around; Brosque leads the way with seven, while Bobo, Filip Holosko and Milos Ninkovic have netted five times each.

Frighteningly though, the goals can come from anywhere, best demonstrated by Rhyan Grant’s strike in the 4-0 Boxing Day mauling of Adelaide United, when he won the ball at right-back, and within four passes was stroking the ball past Eugene Galekovic at the other end.

Sydney FC players celebrate after Rhyan Grant scored during their big win over Adelaide United on Boxing Day.

Graham Arnold’s side have also displayed an ominous ruthless streak, scoring four goals in a game five times this season, including their two most recent outings.

Roar have scored just 16 goals in their 12 games to date, fewer than anyone else in the top four and even two less than seventh-placed Perth Glory.

Jamie Maclaren is their obvious go-to man, but Thomas Kristensen’s brace against Adelaide showed the Dane has the ability to contribute significantly at the pointy end.

Evergreen Thomas Broich has provided a couple of delicious assists in recent weeks, but John Aloisi needs more output from front-men Brandon Borrello and Dimitri Petratos, who have just a solitary goal each so far in 2016/17.

#BRIvWSW - Brisbane Roar have won four of their last five home Hyundai A-League games against Western Sydney Wanderers.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Sydney FC, full-stop. Their sensational start to the season continues, and shows no signs of slowing.

FORM GUIDE (last five games)

Sydney FC: DWDWW

Brisbane Roar: DDWWD

PREDICTION

Sydney FC 3-1 Brisbane Roar FC