Why Roar can win a third Championship
I can’t see Brisbane falling at the final hurdle this Sunday. They will be too strong at home and be the first team to claim three Hyundai A-League championships this Sunday at Suncorp.
I can-t see Brisbane falling at the final hurdle this Sunday. They will be too strong at home and be the first team to claim three Hyundai A-League championships this Sunday at Suncorp.
Having said that, I-ve experienced five grand finals in my professional career and I-m yet to taste victory. So if you-re a tipster, you are probably best off going against anything I-ll write!
Firstly, fatigue is a concern. Western Sydney will be playing game number 16 in just eight weeks when they face Roar who, on the other hand, will be playing their tenth.
That said, Brisbane Roar, after running away and claiming the premier-s plate by 10 points, hasn-t looked like that same side over the last few weeks. But they have been getting results.
As a coach that must be a good thing. Knowing your side is not performing at their best but still able to dig in and get the points is reassuring.
Roar has a number of players still in the side from their last championship victory. The players know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it.
Thomas Broich is generally the Brisbane player that provides the spark. But they are so much more than one player.
Luke Brattan has had a great season, showing exceptional vision and his passing range has been great.
Liam Miller, a former team- and room-mate, will be keen to be on the end of a winning side.
He will be desperate to reverse his fortunes from the previous time he played a grand final at Suncorp, having conceded a late penalty in a Glory shirt with that moment ultimately deciding the game for Roar 2-1.
Miller though, will be racing the clock to be available after coming off with a groin concern.
Brisbane has not lost to Wanderers this season. Their possession-based game has the ability to pick apart the Wanderers defence.
However, rotating players has been one of the great aspects of Tony Popovic-s management. How can the players find rhythm if they are in and out of the side? What about team performances?
‘Popa- has shown that it can be done successfully. When it comes to the biggest game of the season, you need players out there who know exactly what they have to do within the team structure.
Disappointingly, Mark Bridge is in doubt for the final after picking up a knock in the semi-final against the Mariners. So it-s time for Tomi Juric or Labinot Haliti to step up - both are more than capable of slotting in seamlessly.
And Western Sydney has a strong defensive set-up and has the quality in the middle of the park and up front to cause headaches when they hit teams on the counter attack.
Brisbane‘s fullbacks love to get forward to create opportunities. Wanderers can exploit these pockets left by the full-backs with Youssouf Hersi waiting to terrorize the Roar defence.
This could well be Hersi-s last game for the club, with the player yet to announce where he will be playing next season. He will also be looking to make up for last year-s absence due to suspension.
The Wanderers are coming in to this game on the back of a four-game winning streak. They will get opportunities to score against Brisbane, but they will need to be clinical in front of goals against the tightest back-line in the A-League.
But Brisbane on their day can be devastating.
In the lead up to the grand final we certainly haven-t seen the best of the Roar and Besart Berisha.
And in his final game in orange, ‘Bes- will want to go out on top.