Preview: Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory
Both Brisbane and Perth like to attack, so this game has the makings of an open and fast encounter with plenty of goals.
Date: Sunday September 20 Kick-off: 5:00pm AEST (3.00pm AWST) b>Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 1. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 6PR 882AM (Perth). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Head-to-head Played 12: Wins: Brisbane 9, Perth 1; Draws: 2
Previous meeting Brisbane Roar 4, Perth Glory 2, Round 21, January 2009
Season so far: Brisbane Roar: Round 1: Brisbane Roar 1, Gold Coast United 3, Suncorp Stadium Round 2: Melbourne Victory 3, Brisbane Roar 3, Etihad Stadium Round 3: Brisbane Roar 1, Wellington Phoenix 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 4: Brisbane Roar 1, Central Coast Mariners 0, Suncorp Stadium Round 5: North Queensland Fury 1, Brisbane Roar 1, Etihad Stadium Round 6: Newcastle Jets 0, Brisbane Roar 3, EnergyAustralia Stadium
Perth Glory: Round 1: Adelaide United 1, Perth Glory 0, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 2: Wellington Phoenix 2, Perth Glory 1, Westpac Stadium Round 3: Perth Glory 2, Newcastle Jets 0, ME Bank Stadium Round 4: Perth Glory 2, Melbourne Victory 1, ME Bank Stadium Round 5: Central Coast Mariners 2, Perth Glory 1, Canberra Stadium Round 6: Perth Glory 2, Gold Coast United, ME Bank Stadium
Analysis: It might surprise some people to know that Brisbane Roar is now five games unbeaten since losing its opening match to Gold Coast United. They haven't exactly set the world on fire so far this season after being many people's favourite for the title this season, but somehow have managed to scrap their way through games and get results - that was until last weekend.
At what must be their favourite venue (and that includes Suncorp Stadium) the Roar continued its incredible run at EnergyAustralia Stadium, making it five wins from eight games, with a comprehensive 3-0 victory. Roar was at their scintillating best and the strike partnership of Sergio Van Dijk and Reinaldo, plus attacking support from Henrique and Charlie Miller simply overpowered the Jets defence. These four will be the key once again and will be confident they can score a few goals against a team they have enjoyed a good deal of success against over the past four seasons.
Coach Frank Farina will however have to reshuffle things around a little with Mitch Nichols, Luke DeVere and Thomas Oar off to the FIFA World Youth Cup in Egypt as part of the Qantas Young Socceroos squad, plus Danny Tiatto ruled out with a recurring groin injury.
David Dodd comes back into the squad, while Tim Smits, Adam Sarota and Matt Mundy win promotion. Bob Malcolm may well retain his role in the defensive midfield role, while the exciting young Sarota, last year's inaugural National Youth League Player of the Year, may get a start in Nichols absence.
Perth come to Brisbane rueing not picking up all three points against league leaders Gold Coast United last weekend and firmly stamping themselves as a genuine contender this season. Having led 2-0 at the half time break, Perth conceded an early goal in the second half, but looked like hanging on, until Shane Smeltz broke the hearts of the Glory faithful with a last-minute equaliser.
That has led to many questioning the fitness levels of Glory, who have conceded three goals inside the last 10 minutes of games so far this season. This is strenuously denied by Glory staff and players, but until they can consistently stop conceding in this period, many will believe they are vulnerable in this period of the game.
However Perth has shown at times in the first six weeks that it can be a genuine force this season and in Branko Jelic, is has found a penalty box goal poacher of serious note. His three goals in as many games is fast making him a crowd favourite in Perth and if he can do the same against bogey team Brisbane, his popularity will increase two-fold.
Mile Sterjovski is starting to show the form we know he is capable of and why he is a regular in the Qantas Socceroos squads, while Wayne Srhoj has been hugely impressive in central midfield. Scott Neville returns from illness and is the only addition to an unchanged squad from last weekend.
The one big plus for Brisbane is it has an imposing record against the Glory, having won nine of their 12 matches and losing just the one. At home, Brisbane is unbeaten and after last week's terrific win in Newcastle will no doubt want to back that up in front of their home fans. Both teams like to attack, so this game has the makings of an open and fast encounter with plenty of goals. This is perhaps a match not to missed.
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 4. Craig MOORE (c), 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 6. David DODD, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Charlie MILLER, 11. REINALDO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 13. HENRIQUE, 14. Adam SAROTA, 16. Bob MALCOLM, 18. Danny TIATTO, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 20. Griffin McMASTER (gk), 23. Tim SMITS, 27. Ivan FRANJIC. *one to be omitted*
In: David DODD (promoted), Tim SMITS (promoted), Adam SAROTA (promoted), Matt MUNDY (promoted) Out: Tommy OAR (international duty), Luke DEVERE (international duty), Mitch NICHOLS (international duty), Danny TIATTO (groin injury - 1/2 weeks) Unavailable: Andrew PACKER (adductor - 1/2 weeks), Massimo MURDOCCA (fractured leg - 3/4 months), Matt McKAY (medial ligament - 6/8 weeks), Michael ZULLO (Hip flexor - 1/2 weeks)
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 11.Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 25.AMARAL *one to be omitted*
In: 12.Scott NEVILLE (recovered from virus) Out: Nil Unavailable: Nil