An increasingly desperate City will look to make amends for a nightmare result last time out when they host the improved Brisbane Roar FC in a tasty showdown between two sides keen to salvage their indifferent seasons.
Sunday, 7 December 2014
Melbourne City FC v Brisbane Roar FC
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEDT)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Rob WIELAERT, 5.Erik PAARTALU, 6.Aaron MOOY, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 11.Damien DUFF, 14.James BROWN, 15.David WILLIAMS, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 25.Jacob MELLING, 26.Marc MARINO, 27.Ross ARCHIBALD
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 8.Massimo MURDOCCA (promoted), 19.Ben GARUCCIO (promoted)
Unavailable: 10.Robert KOREN (calf – 2 weeks), 13.Jonatan GERMANO (hamstring – 3-4 weeks), 28.Liam MILLER (1 week)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 2.Matthew SMITH (c), 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Mensur KURTISHI, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 20.Kofi DANNING, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 30.Matthew ACTON (gk)
*one to be omitted*
Ins: 4.Adam SAROTA (possible return from injury)
Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (wrist – three weeks), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO (groin – six weeks), 6.George LAMBADARIDIS (knee – one week), 19.Jack HINGERT (knee – four weeks), 22.Thomas BROICH (ankle – six weeks)
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne, Local Radio VIC, 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Local Radio Queensland, Grandstand Digital, Grandstand Online/ ABC Radio Mobile phone app Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Brennan
Assistant Referee 2: George Lakrindis
Fourth Official: Lucien Laverdure
What a difference a month makes. Just four weeks ago Melbourne City looked to have kick-started their season with an impressive 3-1 win away to struggling champions Brisbane.
Since then the title-holders have axed Mike Mulvey and parachuted Frans Thijssen into the hot seat at short notice.
The veteran Dutchman, who had been earmarked for a technical role, must be doing something right, with the Roar unbeaten with one draw and one win in the two games since he took over.
City though have returned to their usual bad habits, giving up the lead twice to draw with Central Coast before losing to Sydney FC and then the Wellington Phoenix.
Their nadir was reached in that loss at Westpac Stadium last weekend, when they were thumped 5-1 by Ernie Merrick's men.
OPTA DATA STATS
- Only once before have City/Heart side endured a worse start to a campaign and that was last season when they went 14 games without a win from.
- City have failed to win any of their last seven home games (D3 L4).
- Andrew Redmayne of City has conceded more goals than any other goalkeeper this season (19).
- Brisbane Roar have conceded just one goal across their last three away games.
ROUTE TO GOAL
City ripped the Roar apart on the counter-attack at Suncorp Stadium last month, catching Brisbane's fullbacks out of position and exposing their central defence's high line.
But the men in orange looked far more solid in beating Western Sydney 1-0 at Wanderland on Wednesday, keeping the ball and shutting out their hosts relatively comfortably.
The hosts will need to be more canny in the final third and take what few chances they create if they are to get anything out of this one. City can't expect a repeat of the hapless Roar performance they exploited in their previous meeting.
Henrique continues to be Brisbane's most regular threat on goal. Without Thomas Broich, who is out until January following ankle surgery, it's time for Dimitri Petratos, Brandon Borello and Mensur Kurtishi to start contributing if the mini-resurgence is to be maintained.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Van't Schip's pre-match press conference took an uncomfortable turn on Friday, with the coach suggesting a News Corp journalist would be likely to know before he does if City's owners are considering axing the Dutchman.
While the players have certainly failed to deliver - missing chances in attack and making basic mistakes in defence - the finger of blame can also be reasonably pointed at the man on the sidelines, with some recruitment and tactical decisions contributing to a hugely underwhelming start to the campaign.
City have won one, drawn three and lost four so far this season, while the Roar have won two, drawn one and lost five, with both of those victories coming on the road, at Newcastle and Western Sydney.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Damien Duff (Melbourne City) has four assists to his name; a league-high number.
Melbourne City FC 1-2 Brisbane Roar FC
Surely City can't get any worse than they were last Sunday, so we're tipping the players to lift for Van 't Schip and at least hit the back of the net. Although Roar weren't given the sternest of examinations by a slightly under-strength Wanderers, they looked comfortable on the ball and far more solid at the back. City will need to orchestrate one of their best performances of the season to halt the champions' revival.