Preview: Brisbane Roar v Gold Coast United
Gold Coast, which began the season full of momentum with its win over Brisbane in Round 1, has run a little out of steam in the past month having gone four matches without a win.
Date: Sunday October 11 Kick-off: 4:00pm AEST, 5:00pm AEDT Venue: Suncorp Stadium TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2. To purchase tickets visit www.ticktek.com.au Head-to-head Played 1: Wins: Gold Coast United wins 1
Previous meeting Brisbane Roar 1, Gold Coast United 3, Suncorp Stadium, Round 1, August 2009
Past five matches: Brisbane Roar: Round 5: North Queensland Fury 1, Brisbane Roar 1, Etihad Stadium Round 6: Newcastle Jets 0, Brisbane Roar 3, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 7: Brisbane Roar 2, Perth Glory 4, Suncorp Stadium Round 8: Brisbane Roar 1, Sydney FC 0, Suncorp Stadium, Round 9: Melbourne Victory 2, Brisbane Roar 1, Etihad Stadium
Gold Coast United: Round 5: Gold Coast United 2, Sydney FC 1, Skilled Park Round 6: Perth Glory 2, Gold Coast United 2, ME Bank Stadium Round 7: Central Coast Mariners 3, Gold Coast United 0, Bluetongue Stadium Round 8: Gold Coast United 2, Melbourne Victory 3, Skilled Park Round 9: Gold Coast United 0, Wellington Phoenix 0, Skilled Park
Analysis: Gold Coast, which began the season full of momentum with its win over Brisbane in Round 1, has run a little out of steam in the past month having gone four matches without a win. It faces another massive task this week, travelling up the Pacific Highway to take on Brisbane without two of its biggest stars.
Jason Culina and Shane Smeltz are both on international duty with Australia and New Zealand respectively and those two were a major part of the win over Brisbane in the season-opener. But Brisbane has its own worries with unavailable players, with Craig Moore also on Qantas Socceroos duties while Charlie Miller, David Dodd and Danny Tiatto are suspended for this match. Henrique, the Roar's discovery of the season so far, will miss the next six with a knee injury.
It means this clash will be a much a test of both team's depth than anything else. Brisbane does get back its representatives from the FIFA U20 World Cup in Mitch Nichols, Luke De Vere and Tommy Oar, while Matt McKay has been named in the squad after missing the past five matches and Andrew Packer could also make a return from an adductor injury suffered in Round 1 against this week's opposition. Adam Sarota and Matt Mundy have also been included in an extended squad.
With that many changes and so much experience missing, it shapes as a major test for Frank Farina. His side has been accused of inconsistency, and little wonder given they have alternated win-loss over the past month, and with so many changes, it can-t be an easy task. Brisbane was good for much of the game against Melbourne last week, but let itself down at key points of the game, letting the defending champions into score.
There has been some debate over Brisbane's discipline this season, particularly after two of their most-experienced players were suspended, and Farina will be determined to show that his side has the composure to match its potential.
Gold Coast has gone a little flat, as indicated by last week's 0-0 draw against Wellington, but Miron Bleiberg is well aware that the Hyundai A-League is a marathon, not a sprint. There were always going to be bumps in the road and injuries, suspensions and international commitments are a part of the landscape and it-s a matter of how you manage them.
On the positive side, Zenon Caravella comes back into the side, along with Steve Pantelidis and Steve Fitzsimmons, who were both suspended for the Wellington match. Tahj Minniecon will add some zip up front after finishing up his commitments with the Qantas Young Socceroos, as will Golgol Mebrahtu, who has been promoted into an extended squad. James Brown has been omitted.
The return of Caravella is a tonic in Culina's absence, while Pantelidis and Fitzsimmons add some steel in defence. The problem for Bleiberg is that Gold Coast couldn-t score last week with Culina and Smeltz in the side, how are they going to do without them?
The Roar have conceded the second most goals of any team in the league so far this season, which will give Gold Coast's attacking players some hope, despite the fact that the well has run somewhat dry with four goals in their past four matches.
There is a lot at stake in this encounter with the winner maintaining contact with those at the top of the table, while the loser could find themselves as much out of tough with top three all of a sudden.
Gold Coast United Squad: 1.Jess VANSTRATTAN (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE (c), 5.ROBSON, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 11.MILSON, 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 17.Matt OSMAN, 22.Adama TRAORE, 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 24.ANDERSON, 26.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 27.Mark BYRNES, 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk) *two to be omitted*
In: Steve PANTELIDIS (return from suspension), Steve FITZSIMMONS (return from suspension), Tahj MINNIECON (return from international duty), Zenon CARAVELLA (return from hip injury), Golgol MEBRAHTU (promoted)
Out: Shane SMELTZ (international duty), Jason CULINA (international duty), James BROWN (not selected)
Unavailable: JEFFERSON (knee injury - 2 weeks), Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle injury - 8 weeks)
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Andrew PACKER, 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 11. REINALDO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Adam SAROTA, 15. Matt McKAY, 16. Bob MALCOLM, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 20. Griffin McMASTER (gk), 21. Tommy OAR, 23. Tim SMITS, 27. Ivan FRANJIC, 29 Mario KARLOVIC *two to be omitted*
In: Adam SAROTA (promoted), Matt MUNDY (promoted), Luke DEVERE (returns from international duty), Mitch NICHOLS (returns from international duty), Tommy OAR (returns from international duty), Matt McKAY (returns from injury), Andrew PACKER (returns from injury)
Out: Charlie MILLER (suspended - 2 weeks), Danny TIATTO (suspended - 1 week), David DODD (suspended - 1 week), Craig MOORE (international duty), HENRIQUE (injured - 6 weeks)
Unavailable: Michael ZULLO (groin - 1 week), Massimo MURDOCCA (fractured leg - 8 weeks)