Preview: Melbourne Victory v Queensland Roar
Melbourne has developed a reputation as the miracle men of late having pulled off a win and a draw in its past two matches with just 10 men.
Date: Sunday September 28 Kick-off: 5pm AEST Venue: Telstra Dome
TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 2 and Sky Sports 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is SEN (Melbourne) 1116AM. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com.au
Head-to-head Nine A-League meetings: Melbourne - 5 wins, Queensland 3 wins - Draws - 1
Previous meeting Queensland Roar 1, Melbourne Victory 2, Round 19, January 2008
Results so far Melbourne: Round 1: Sydney FC 0, Melbourne Victory 0, SFS Round 2: Wellington Phoenix 2, Melbourne Victory 4, Westpac Stadium Round 3: Melbourne Victory 5, Newcastle Jets 0, Telstra Dome Round 4: Melbourne Victory 1, Adelaide United 0, Telstra Dome Round 5: Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 2, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium
Queensland: Round 1: Wellington Phoenix 1, Queensland Roar 1, Westpac Stadium Round 2: Queensland Roar 1, Adelaide United 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 3: Queensland Roar 2, Central Coast Mariners 4, Suncorp Stadium Round 4: Perth Glory 0, Queensland 3, Members Equity Round 5: Queensland Roar 0, Newcastle Jets 1, Suncorp Stadium
Analysis Melbourne has developed a reputation as the miracle men of late having pulled off a win and a draw in its past two matches with just 10 men. After playing over an hour without a man and getting a win against Adelaide, the Victory lost keeper Michael Theoklitos with 30 minutes left against the Mariners yet managed to fight back and secure an equaliser in the 94th minute.
While losing players to red cards is not ideal, those results have given the Victory a real confidence in their resolve. Five matches unbeaten, Melbourne commands top spot on the ladder and with two home matches in a week, gets its chance to stamp itself as the team to beat this year.
Archie Thompson has been key to this success, scoring two goals last week. The dynamic striker has received plenty of assistance from Carlos Hernandez and Danny Allsopp this year and they must be the most feared attacking combination in the league at the moment.
With Theoklitos out, Mitch Langerak will step in between the posts. Leigh Broxham is included into the squad but is unlikely to start. Nick Ward is still another week away with his calf injury.
Queensland would have been disappointed with its defeat by Newcastle last week having previously picked up a win and two draws prior to that match. It wasn't a bad loss in the scheme of things, but Frank Farina will want his men to at least get a point from this one, and keep the top two teams within reach.
There is only one change to Farina's squad from the previous game with Tim Smits included. Josh McLoughan and Robbie Kruse remain sidelined.
Melbourne has dominated matches between these two sides in the past with five wins from nine matches. However, Queensland has won two out of the four matches played in Melbourne.
Melbourne Victory Squad. 2.Kevin MUSCAT (Captain), 3.Michael THWAITE, 5.Sebastian RYALL, 7.Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 9.Danny ALLSOPP, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 14.Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Jose Luis LOPEZ, 18. Leigh BROXHAM, 19.Evan BERGER. 20.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 40. Lou ACEVSKI (gk) *One to be omitted. In. Leigh BROXHAM, Lou ACEVSKI (on loan) Out. Michael THEOKLITOS (suspended) Unavailable. Nick WARD (calf - 1 week), Ney FABIANO (suspended)
Queensland Roar Squad. 1 Liam REDDY (gk), 2 Andrew PACKER, 3 Luke DEVERE, 4 Craig MOORE, 6 Dave DODD, 7 Michael ZULLO, 8 Massimo MURDOCCA, 9 Sergio VAN DIJK, 10 Charlie MILLER, 11 Reinaldo, 12 Tahj MINNIECON, 15 Matt McKAY, 16 Hyuk-Su SEO, 18 Danny TIATTO, 20 Griffin McMASTER (rgk), 23 Tim SMITS. *one to be omitted. In. Tim SMITS (promoted). Out.Nil. Unavailable. 5 Josh McCLOUGHAN (hip injury), Robbie KRUSE (injury).