Preview: Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar FC
Both unbeaten since the Asian Cup break, something’s got to give in this intriguing clash to end Round 21. Will Brisbane strengthen their claims for the top six at Allianz, or will the home side move into the vital top two spot on Sunday with a win?
Sunday, 15 March 2015
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 5pm (Local) 5pm AEDT)
Sydney FC 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Nikola PETKOVIC, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Christopher NAUMOFF, 14.Alex BROSQUE ©, 16.Alex GERSBACH, 17.Terry ANTONIS, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21.Mark JANKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 25.Aaron CALVER, 26.Jacques FATY, 27.Mickael TAVARES, 34.Robert STAMBOLZIEV.
***two to be omitted***
Ins 16.Alex GERSBACH (return from suspension), 26.Jacques FATY (return from injury), 27.Mickael TAVARES (return from suspension)
Outs 18. Peter TRIANTIS
Unavailable 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee – indefinite), 22.Ali ABBAS (knee – indefinite), 19.Nick CARLE (knee – indefinite), 3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI (hip – indefinite).
Brisbane Roar 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE, 34.Shannon BRADY, 36.Fraser CHALMERS
***two to be omitted***
Ins 4.Adam SAROTA (promoted), 5.Corey BROWN (return from suspension), 34.Shannon BRADY (promoted)
Outs 18.Luke BRATTAN (suspended)
Unavailable 1.Michael THEO (groin – two weeks), 13.Jade NORTH (groin – one week)
TV – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT)
Radio – Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Referee Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn
Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick
Fourth Official: Matthew Cropper
This clash to end round 21 of the Hyundai A-League has all the ingredients of a belter. Both sides are unbeaten since the competition’s resumption following the Asian Cup break. Roar head to Sydney buoyed by some good results over the last week in A-League and ACL and have a strong record in the Harbour City. Depending on the result between Perth and Wellington on Saturday night, the Sky Blues could go top with a victory and at the very least move into the top two.
Sydney FC get Alex Gersbach and Mickael Tavares back from the suspension and the pair should come straight into the starting side. Jacques Faty has been named but must get through the last training session on Saturday to be eligible after two weeks out with a hamstring strain.
Suspension has ruled Luke Brattan out for Brisbane with Socceroo midfielder Adam Sarota the most likely candidate to take his spot in the XI.
OPTA DATA STATS
-Sydney FC has taken just 13 points at home this season, compared to 22 away.
-Sydney have won just one of their last six Hyundai A-League games against Roar (D2 L3), excluding playoffs.
-Brisbane has failed to score in their last two against Sydney. They last went three games without a goal against them in January 2008 (excluding playoffs).
-Sydney have scored as many home goals in their last two games at Allianz Stadium as they had in the rest of their games there this season (7).
-Roar has scored twice in each of their last three away fixtures.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Sky Blues striker Marc Janko is aiming to become the first player in Hyundai A-League history to score in seven consecutive Hyundai A-League matches. Janko has nine in his last six games and scored a contender for goal of the season when the two sides met back in round three.
He will again be a focal point for the home side, with coach Graham Arnold hoping he can get a bit more support in the goal-scoring department from the likes of skipper Alex Brosque and Bernie Ibini. Roar hasn’t scored against Sydney in both previous clashes this season but that was during their poor run of form.
In Brandon Borrello they have a player in good goal-scoring form and his battle with young Sky Blues left-back Gersbach should be a beauty.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?Luke DeVere. The 25-year-old defender’s decision to return to the Hyundai A-League with Roar after four years in Korea with Gyeongnam FC was vindicated this week with selection in Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad for friendlies against Germany and Macedonia. DeVere’s first Socceroos call-up is a just reward for some impressive displays in recent weeks. But he’ll be given a huge test on Sunday trying to stop the hottest player in the competition right now in Janko. It should be a classic duel.
It’s been a good few weeks for both of these clubs. Sydney FC have surged to third on the ladder on the back of five wins [and a draw] from their last six games. While they weren’t at their best against Newcastle Jets last weekend, they did enough to get the three points, the sign of a team with credible designs on the title. Roar also produced a strong performance in their last outing in disposing of the Wanderers 1-0 on Sunday. Sydney has taken four points from the two previous clashes this season, both played at Roar’s Suncorp Stadium.
DID YOU KNOW?
Dimitri Petratos scored a hat-trick against Sydney in the Hyundai A-League in December 2013. He’s scored just twice since then in 30 A-League games.
Sydney FC 2-1 Brisbane Roar
We’re going for a narrow win for the Sky Blues in this one. Both sides have been ultra-impressive of late but the return of some key personnel and the presence of Janko – who we’re backing to score in a record-breaking seventh straight match – tips this one in the home side’s favour.