Preview: Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United
Brisbane has lost two high-profile players of late but the changes are more than likely a positive sign for the Roar heading into the home stretch of the season.
Date: Saturday December 12
Kick-off: 8pm local (9pm AEDT)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and Sky Sports 1. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 107.9 LIFE FM (Adelaide). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Head-to-head Played 14: Wins: Adelaide United 6, Brisbane Roar 3, Draws: 5
Previous meeting Adelaide United 0, Brisbane Roar 2, Hindmarsh Stadium, Round 14, November 2009
Past five matches:
Brisbane Roar: Round 13: Brisbane Roar 1, Newcastle Jets 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 14: Adelaide United 0, Brisbane Roar 2, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 15: Brisbane Roar 0, Melbourne Victory 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 16: Brisbane Roar 4, Wellington Phoenix 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 17: Perth Glory 1, Brisbane Roar 1, Members Equity Stadium
Adelaide United: Round 13: Central Coast 0, Adelaide United 0, Canberra Stadium Round 14: Adelaide United 0, Brisbane Roar 2, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 15: Adelaide United 1, Gold Coast United 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 16: North Queensland 2, Adelaide United 1, Dairy Farmers Stadium Round 17: Adelaide United 0, Newcastle Jets 2, Hindmarsh Stadium
Analysis: The Brisbane Roar have had two of their high-profile players quit the club in the past two weeks with Charlie Miller a good chance to land on the Gold Coast while back-up goalkeeper Liam Reddy looks set for a stint with the Sky Blues once this season is completed.
The defections might be a distraction, and supporters are always sad to see players go, but the changes are more than likely a positive sign for the Roar heading into the home stretch of the season.
Ange Postecoglou is shaping a squad for the future and has shown minimal regret with the resignations of Miller and Reddy who may have been on the outer already.
That hard-nosed and unrelenting approach from any coach is sure to get the remaining players' attention and they'll be keen to prove they have a future at Suncorp Stadium with a strong performance against an out-of-sorts Adelaide United.
Mitch Nichols is the first to admit he hasn't been performing at his best but with Miller out of the picture he can really have an impact on the side. Brisbane's disappointment in taking a point from its 1-1 match against Perth Glory is another good sign this side is switched on and more expectant of success. Five or six weeks ago the Roar would've taken a draw from Perth but now they want more.
At this stage Brisbane has made no change to its squad although the inclusion of Massimo Murdocca is a positive one. He's finally put his ankle problems behind him and is sure to generate some enthusiasm for his side coming off the bench. Unfortunately the injured trio of Matt McKay, Danny Tiatto and Reinaldo won't be available again but it may not matter against Adelaide.
The Reds were dirty when they slipped to eighth spot after losing to the Fury a fortnight ago and a loss to the Jets last Saturday has made matters worse. Even the club is tired of spouting optimistic cliches and admits the only way to turn things around is to work hard and hope for the best.
United's line-up looks set for another reshuffle with Lloyd Owusu finally dragged out of the National Youth League while Daniel Mullen, Francesco Monterosso, Shin and Michael Marrone are all an outside chance of playing too. Kristian Sarkies, who's been one of the Reds' better players of late, is out with a quad injury.
Importantly coach Aurelio Vidmar is back from his club-imposed ban to lead the team - that's sure to make a difference. But there's not much to suggest things are going to improve any time soon for last year's grand finalists.
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Liam REDDY (GK), 2. Andrew PACKER, 4. Craig MOORE (c), 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 6. David DODD, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 12.Matthew MUNDY, 13. HENRIQUE, 14. Adam SAROTA, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 20. Griffin McMASTER (GK), 21. Tommy OAR, 25.Luke BRATTAN
In: Massimo MURDOCCA (returns from injury)
Unavailable: Matt McKAY (quad injury - 2 weeks), Bob MALCOLM (suspended - 1 week), Ivan FRANJIC (hamstring injury - 1 week), Danny TIATTO (hamstring injury - 1 week), REINALDO (hamstring injury - 1 week)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.ALEMAO, 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 9.CRISTIANO, 10.Adam HUGHES, 11. Lloyd OWUSU, 12. Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 15. Francesco MONTEROSSO, 16. Inseob SHIN, 17. Michael MARRONE, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Mark RUDAN
In: Daniel MULLEN (promoted), Lloyd OWUSU (promoted), Francesco MONTEROSSO (promoted), Inseob SHIN (promoted), Michael MARRONE (promoted)
Out: Kristian SARKIES (quad - 1 week)
Unavailable: Joe COSTA (knee - indefinite)