Brisbane Roar striker Besart Berisha will make his return to action in tomorrow night’s Hyundai A-League Harvey Norman Friday Night Football match against Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium.
Berisha hasn’t featured for the Roar since injuring his hamstring in round two and is set to take a place back in Brisbane’s starting eleven for the one versus two fixture – the winner of which will secure top spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder.
“If he pulls up okay from today’s training session, he will start,” Head Coach Mike Mulvey said.
“We don’t want to put too much expectation on him but what I do know is that he’s done the preparation properly and that’s the key thing – we didn’t want him coming back half baked.
“He’s looking good, he was sharp this morning and all things being equal, he will start.”
Brisbane will also be boosted by the return of Socceroos Ivan Franjic and Matt McKay, who missed last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Newcastle Jets while in camp with the national team.
Franjic played the full 90 minutes at right-back as Australia secured a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Sydney on Tuesday while McKay made a 15 minute cameo in the second half.
“We treated them as you’d expect – we let Ivan do some light jogging today while Matty is fresh as a daisy,” Mulvey said.
“They’re both keen and they will both start.”
The Roar has never beaten Western Sydney since the club’s inception in April 2012, the Wanderers beating Brisbane three times in the 2012/13 regular season and knocking the two-time Champions out when they met in the elimination final.
“The boys are in good spirits, we’ve had a short turnaround but we’ve spent our time recovering well for what will be a formidable opponent,” Mulvey said.
“They’ve got great resilience and we’ve got great respect for the way they’ve played the game over the past couple of years.
“They play some lovely football and they seem to find a way to get a result so that’s our challenge tomorrow night, to try and get one over on them.”
Friday, 22 November 2013
Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 7.00pm local (8:00pm AEDT)
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Lindsay
Fourth Official: Matthew Gillett
TV broadcast: 7.00pm (AEDT) Live coverage on FOX Sports 1HD, SBS 2 and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand).
Radio Broadcast: 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Local Radio Queensland, 702 ABC Sydney, ABC Local Radio NSW, 666 ABC Canberra Grandstand Digital and Online/Mobile phone app
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To purchase tickets, visit Ticketek: http://bit.ly/BRvWSW
Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Matthew SMITH (c), 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Besart BERISHA, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Diogo FERREIRA, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Matthew ACTON (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Corey BROWN, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Kwame YEBOAH *One to be omitted*
In: 5.Ivan FRANJIC (returns from international duty), 7.Besart BERISHA (returns from injury), 17.Matt McKAY (returns from international duty)
Unavailable: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO (hamstring – 1 week), 11.Liam MILLER (calf – 1 week), 25.George LAMBADARDIS (knee – season)
Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1.Ante COVIC (GK), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Adam D’APUZZO, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Michael BEAUCHAMP (c), 6.Jerome POLENZ, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 10.Aaron MOOY, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Tahj MINNIECON, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Jerrad TYSON (GK), 21.Shinji ONO, 22. Dean Heffernan, 23.Jason TRIFIRO *Two to be omitted*
Ins: 23.Jason TRIFIRO (promoted), 5.Michael BEAUCHAMP (promoted)
Unavailable: 17.Youssouf HERSI (foot), 9. Tomi JURIC (knee)