Preview: Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Brisbane, one of the competition's great enigmas, is looking for just its second home win of the season when it takes on a Sydney team which has gone loss-win, loss-win in the past month.
Date: Sunday September 27 Kick-off: 3:00pm AEST Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Milton
TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 3. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au Head-to-head Played: 14. Wins: Brisbane 3, Sydney 4. Draws: 7.
Previous meeting Queensland Roar 3, Sydney FC 1, Suncorp Stadium, Round 20, January 2009
Last five matches: Brisbane Roar: 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 Round 7: Brisbane Roar 2, Perth Glory 4, Suncorp Stadium
Sydney FC: Round 2: Sydney FC 1, Adelaide United 0, Sydney Football Stadium Round 3: Central Coast Mariners 0, Sydney FC 0, Bluetongue Stadium Round 4: Sydney FC 2, Wellington Phoenix 0, Sydney Football Stadium Round 5: Gold Coast United 2, Sydney FC 1, Skilled Stadium Round 6: Sydney FC 0, North Queensland 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 7: Sydney FC 2, Newcastle Jets 1, Sydney Football Stadium
Analysis: Brisbane, one of the competition's great enigmas, is looking for just its second home win of the season when it takes on a Sydney team which has gone loss-win, loss-win in the past month. Both sides are coming off less than convincing performances last week, but while Brisbane was punished with a 4-2 loss to Perth, Sydney weathered the storm with a 2-1 win over Newcastle.
Frank Farina's biggest headaches at the moment are at the selection table with seven players, arguably all first-choice, unavailable, three through national duties with the Qantas Young Socceroos. Luke Devere, Tommy Oar and Mitch Nichols are all out for at least the next couple of weeks as the Under 20s contest the World Cup in Egypt, while Andrew Packer (adductor), Massimo Murdocca (leg), Matt McKay (knee) and Michael Zullo (hip) are unavailable as well. In some good news, Danny Tiatto returns from injury and is added the squad along with Matt Mundy.
Tiatto's return might add some bite to a defensive set-up which struggled against Perth last week, with the Glory making the most of several mistakes at the back. Keeper Liam Reddy needs to pick up his confidence after a couple of shocking errors.
The other positive is Brisbane's strong recent record against Sydney having not lost a game to its southern rivals in over two years. The attacking structure with Charlie Miller feeding the likes of Sergio van Dijk, Reinaldo and Henrique, will trouble Sydney's defence, which has been the second best in the competition this year.
Vitezslav Lavicka's men survived a scare last week and were probably lucky to come away with the points considering the Jets missed a penalty and squandered several good chances late in the match. But the ability to grind out a result when things aren't going their way is what Lavicka wants for his side. Previously, Sydney has been criticised for having too big a gap between its best and worst in the past, but this side seems to be able to get the job done even without all pistons firing.
John Aloisi is only a 50-50 chance to play, but the return of Karol Kisel and Stephan Keller is a big boost for the Sky Blues' defence. They look a better side with Kisel and Kellar in the defensive spine. Even if Aloisi doesn't play, the recent form of Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque will be heartening for Lavicka. Bridge scored a great goal last week, while Brosque won the penalty for the second. They will fancy themselves against a defence which has leaked more goals than any other besides bottom--placed North Queensland.
However, the trip north is one which has never been kind to Sydney having lost two and drawn five matches there in seven clashes at Suncorp Stadium. Momentum is a big thing at this stage of the season and both will be desperate to start putting in consistent performances back-to back.
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, 28. Calum O-CONNELL. *two to be omitted*
In: Danny TIATTO (returns from injury), Matt MUNDY (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Andrew PACKER (adductor - 1/2 weeks), Massimo MURDOCCA (fractured leg - 8/12 weeks), Matt McKAY (medial ligament - 4/6 weeks), Michael ZULLO (Hip flexor - 1/2 weeks), Tommy OAR (international duty), Luke DEVERE (international duty), Mitch NICHOLS (international duty)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. John ALOISI, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 12. Shannon COLE, 13. Antony GOLEC, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 16. Chris PAYNE, 18. Adam CASEY, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 22. Sung Hwan BYUN. *two to be omitted*
In: Stephan KELLER (returns from injury), Karol KISEL (returns from illness), John ALOISI (returns from injury) Out: Zach CAIRNCROSS (not selected) Unavailable: Mitchell PRENTICE (back - 1 week), Kofi DANNING (international duty), Terry MCFLYNN (thigh - 1 week), Matthew JURMAN (international duty), Rhyan GRANT (international duty)