Preview: Brisbane Roar FC v Wellington Phoenix
Wellington went top last week and are dreaming of finals glory while Roar have a battle on their hands to finish in six. So much to play for between two free-scoring outfits: what a way to close out #EraseRacism Round 22 of the Hyundai A-League.
Sunday, 22 March 2015
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 4pm (Local) 5pm AEDT)
Brisbane Roar 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 15.James DONACHIE, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE, 36.Fraser CHALMERS (gk)
***two to be omitted***
Ins 16.Devante CLUT (promoted), 18.Luke BRATTAN (return from suspension)
Unavailable 1.Michael THEO (groin – two weeks), 13.Jade NORTH (groin – one week)
Wellington Phoenix 1.Glen MOSS (GK), 3.Joel GRIFFITHS, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Michael BOXALL, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Nathan BURNS, 10.Michael McGLINCHEY, 13.Albert RIERA, 14.Alex RUFER, 15.Jason HICKS, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 21, Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c)
***one to be omitted***
Ins 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ (returns from injury), 9.Nathan BURNS (returns from injury), 14.Alex RUFER (promoted)
Outs 2.Manny MUSCAT (shoulder – 1 week), 29.Joel STEVENS (omitted)
Unavailable 6.Josh BRINDELL-SOUTH (shoulder – 4 weeks), 7.Kenny CUNNINGHAM (hamstring – 2 weeks), 11.Kwabena APPIAH (calf – 1 week), 12.Tyler BOYD (ankle – 2 weeks), 23.Matthew Ridenton (knee – 2 weeks)
TV broadcast – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT)
Radio broadcast – Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Referee Alan Milliner
Assistant Referee 1 Nathan MacDonald
Assistant Referee 2 Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official Alex King
If Roar’s last two matches are anything to go by, this will be a high-scoring thriller.
Frans Thijssen’s side went down 5-4 in a nine-goal epic against Sydney FC and followed it up with another cracker on Wednesday night in the ACL as they played out a 3-3 draw with Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
There’s no doubt Roar’s defensive structure will have been worked on in the couple of days’ preparation for this clash.
Outside the top six by two points – albeit with two games in hand – this is a vital clash for Brisbane, especially as they will lose Matt McKay, Luke DeVere, James Donachie and Corey Brown to international duty for the next round.
Phoenix is now the hunted in the Hyundai A-League having surged to the top with last weekend’s 2-1 win over Perth Glory. How will Ernie Merrick’s side cope with that added pressure?
Fresh from his two goals against Suwon, youngster Devante Clut has been included in Roar’s extended squad, along with the returning Luke Brattan from suspension.
Thomas Broich was left out of the starting side against the Koreans but should be right to start this one.
There is a couple of big inclusions for the league-leaders as top scorer Nathan Burns and key midfielder Alex Rodriguez return from injury, although they do lose defender Manny Muscat, with Tom Doyle expected to start at left-back.
OPTA DATA STATS
-Brisbane Roar has won six of their last seven meetings with Phoenix (L1), scoring at least twice in each victory.
-Wellington has never won or kept a clean sheet in 12 previous visits to Brisbane (D2 L10) in the Hyundai A-League.
-These sides have one win apiece in meetings between them this Hyundai A-League season, with the winning side scoring three on both occasions.
-Roar have received fewer yellow cards than any other side this season (32), while Wellington are one of three sides yet to receive a red card (along with Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United).
ROUTE TO GOAL
Goals don’t seem to be a problem for either of these sides of late. Roar found the net four times against Sydney FC last weekend, but still found themselves on the wrong end of the result.
There’s no doubt much of this week would have been spent trying to fix those defences lapses for Brisbane boss Frans Thijssen.
They will need to with the likes of Krishna, Burns, Griffiths, McGlinchey and Bonevacia coming to town. Youngster Brandon Borrello has been in good goal-scoring form of late and he will be a key for the home side’s chances of victory.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Roy Krishna. The flying Fijian is enjoying a dream season, playing a huge role in Wellington’s shock rise to the top of the Hyundai A-League table.
He faces a stiff challenge in this clash against Brisbane hard-tackling German right-back Jerome Polenz.