Midweek Hyundai A-League football throws up a huge clash at Suncorp Stadium between a desperate Brisbane Roar FC and last-placed Western Sydney Wanderers FC. Can Roar get their finals charge back on track with a priceless three points or will the Wanderers prove party-poopers in their bid to get off the bottom of the ladder?
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 7pm (Local) 8pm AEDT)
Brisbane Roar 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 6.George LAMBADARIDIS, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 16.Devante CLUT, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Lachlan JACKSON, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 34.Shannon BRADY, 36.Fraser CHALMERS
Ins 6.George LAMBADARIDIS (promoted), 19.Jack HINGERT (promoted), 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (return from injury), 26.Lachlan JACKSON (promoted)
Outs 5. Corey BROWN (international duty), 15.James DONACHIE (international duty), 17.Matt McKAY (international duty), 33.Luke DeVERE (international duty)
Unavailable 1.Michael THEO (groin – 1 week), 10.HENRIQUE (knee – 4 weeks), 13.Jade NORTH (groin – 1 week), 22.Thomas BROICH (ankle – 1 week)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 3.Yusuke TANAKA, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6. Antony GOLEC, 7.Labinot HALITI, 10.Yojiro TAKAHAGI, 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 14.Kerem BULUT, 15.Yianni PERKATIS, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 25.Sam GALLAWAY, 33. Nick KALMAR, 38.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 38. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 42. Adrian MADASCHI
***two to be omitted***
Ins 3.Yusuke TANAKA, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 14.Kerem BULUT, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 42. Adrian MADASCHI (new signing)
Outs 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (Olyroos duty), 32.Daniel ALESSI (not selected)
Unavailable 22.Nick WARD (knee – indefinite), 8.Mateo POLJAK (calf), 34.Golgol MEBRAHTU (knee – indefinite), 5.Brendan HAMILL (thigh), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder), 2.Shannon COLE (collarbone), 19.Mark BRIDGE (injured), 9.Tomi JURIC (groin / Socceroos duty), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (hamstring)
TV – Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.30pm AEDT
Radio – Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Referee Lucien Laverdure
Assistant Referee 1 Luke Brennan
Assistant Referee 2 Andrew Lindsay
Fourth Official Peter Green
This clash is the start of a season-defining few days for Brisbane Roar.
Five points behind Melbourne City FC who occupy sixth spot, this is the first of Roar’s two-games in hand before they face City in a blockbuster encounter this weekend.
It will be interesting to see how Roar respond after their disappointment and anger at seeing their weekend’s clash with Wellington abandoned with 17 minutes still to go and trailing 2-1, meaning the result stood. It’s left no more room for error for Frans Thijssen’s side, who have been hit hard by international duty with skipper Matt McKay, defender Luke DeVere [both Socceroo duty] and youngsters James Donachie and Corey Brown [Olyroos] all to miss at least the next two games.
This will be the Wanderers’ 10th match in 32 days with their battered squad pushed to the limits due to a lengthening injury list: key player Tomi Juric is away with the Socceroos and Matt Spiranovic is injured just to add to the problems.
Coach Tony Popovic used six players under the age of 21 in their loss to Newcastle on the weekend and should by and large stick with the kids out of sheer necessity, but is likely to bring back a few of his more established players for this one.
Brisbane has won both previous clashes this season by the same score, 1-0.
With four key players away for national team duty, Thijssen has promoted George Lambadaridis, Jack Hingert, Lachlan Jackson and Jean Carlos Solorzano.
With three defenders absent, the likes of Shane Stefanutto, Jerome Polenz and Hingert will be key.
New recruit Adrian Madaschi has been included by the Wanderers and could make his first appearance. He is one of a few big names to return, including skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley, defender Yusuke Tanaka and attackers Kerem Bulut and Romeo Castelen. Tomi Juric (Socceroos) and Jaushua Sotirio (Olyroos) are on international duty.
OPTA DATA STATS
-The Wanderers haven’t beaten Brisbane in the Hyundai A-League since April 2013 in the playoffs, failing to win any of their last six matches against them (D2 L4).
-Brisbane has taken just eight points in home games this Hyundai A-League season (W2 D2 L4), compared to 17 away (W5 D2 L5), though they have played four games fewer at Suncorp Stadium.
-The Wanderers have won just one of their last seven Hyundai A-League games (D1 L5), failing to keep a clean sheet in the process.
-Andrija Kaluderovic has scored in three of his five Hyundai A-League games for Brisbane, including each of the last two.
ROUTE TO GOAL
The state of the Suncorp Stadium surface after the weekend’s deluge could be a factor in how both sides approach this clash. It’s likely to be a heavy meaning a more direct style could be more beneficial.
That would suit the Wanderers better, although they are without Tomi Juric [international duty] and Brendon Santalab [injured] meaning Kerem Bulut will have a huge responsibility on his shoulder in the forward line. With Henrique set to be sidelined for a lengthy period, Roar will need import Andrija Kaluderovic to keep banging in the goals, while Brandon Borrello’s pace and finishing ability down the right is also going to be vital.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Devante Clut. The young midfielder has been given a rare opportunity over the last week and has made the most of it with a couple of eye-catching displays. It’s not just his distribution and work-rate which has been good but the teenager also has chipped in with a couple of crucial goals in the ACL clash with Suwon Bluewings. With Roar to be without four players on international duty over the next week or so, plus Henrique’s lengthy absence due to knee surgery, Clut could be even more important to coach Frans Thijssen in a period which could determine their finals destiny.
Roar slumped to back-to-back Hyundai A-League defeats in going down 2-1 to Wellington Phoenix on Sunday after the match was abandoned on 73 minutes due to a water-logged pitch. It not only left a sour taste in the mouths of everyone in Orange but has given them plenty of work to do to overhaul City in sixth spot. Wanderers dropped back to the bottom of the ladder after losing the basement battle with Newcastle Jets 2-1. They will leapfrog the Jets with a win here though.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Wanderers are still searching for their first away Hyundai A-League win of the season (D1 L9), last winning on the road in April 2014. Plus for an additional fact, Suncorp was where Wanderers scored their first ever goal in the A-League.
Brisbane Roar FC 2-1 Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Roar’s desperation to keep their finals flame flickering coupled with the Wanderers’ long injury toll, youthful starting XI and possibility of fatigue should see the home side get the job done.