Week 3 of the A-League sees Brisbane travel across the Tasman for the first of two times this season to take on the Wellington Phoenix, with both sides coming off last start wins.
The Roar won their home opener last weekend against the Central Coast Mariners on the back of a brace from Brandon Borrello, while Wellington came from a goal behind to beat Perth Glory on the road thanks to a rare and late Vince Lia strike.
Brisbane played some impressive football once again last week, with new signing Corona adding an extra dimension to the Brisbane midfield, while the pace and power of front duo Brandon Borrello and Jaime Maclaren has added an extra attacking threat for Brisbane.
At the back however they have shown their vulnerability in the full-back areas in the opening two weeks for the season, and a side like Wellington with a tricky playmaker in McGlinchey and good wide strikers like Krishna and Sarpong could take advantage.
While last week’s win over the Glory was perhaps a bit scrappy, the Nix have shown they’ve got enough about them to be a danger again this season, with new signing Sarpong showing glimpses of what he’s capable of.
It promises to be an intriguing battle with both of sides playing a similar 4-3-3 shape. Merrick and Wellington have enjoyed the better of this contest in recent times, winning two of three against the Roar last season.
5) Corey Brown, 6) Jerome Polenz, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jaime Maclaren, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 16) Devante Clut, 17) Matt McKay, 19) Jack Hingert, 20) Shannon Brady, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 28) Brandon Borrello, 32) George Lambadaridis, 36) Andre Jannese.
**One to be omitted.
1) Glen Moss, 2) Manny Muscat, 3) Justin Gulley, 4) Roly Bonevacia, 5) Troy Danaskos, 6) Dylan Fox, 7) Jeffrey Sarpong, 8) Alex Rodriguez, 10) Michael McGlinchey, 11) Kwabena Appiah, 12) Blake Powell, 13) Albert Riera, 16) Louis Fenton, 17) Vince Lia, 18) Ben Sigmund, 19) Tom Doyle, 20) Lewis Italiano, 21) Roy Krishna.
**Two to be omitted
Despite Brisbane winning their opening two games, John Aloisi will make at least one change to his side for tomorrow’s game, with goalkeeper Michael Theo succumbing to an injury in training midweek which will see him miss the trip to Wellington.
This opens the door for understudy Jamie Young to make his first league appearance of the season, while new youth team goalkeeper Andre Jannese will be on the bench. Other than that it appears likely that Brisbane will go into the clash unchanged, after they produced some impressive football for the second straight week.
If there were to be a change the most logical would be in midfield with a swap of Petratos in for Lustica, however with goals two weeks in a row coming from the full-back areas Aloisi may also consider strengthening that area by brining in Jerome Polenz.
Expected Brisbane XI
Young, Hingert, Bowles, North, Brown, Lustica, Corona, McKay, Broich, Borrello, Maclaren.
Substitutes: Jannese, Polenz, Lambadaridis, Petratos, Clut.
Wellington manager Ernie Merrick is also unlikely to make many changes to his side after they returned from Perth with three points to kick-start their season. If he were to make a change to his starting side, striker Black Powell –who was dropped to the bench last week- could be the most likely addition to the side, but with the impressive starting debut of Sarpong that looks unlikely.
The additions to the squad of the newly signed Troy Danaskos and Dylan Fox indicate that Merrick saw a need to add defensive reinforcements to his side, and either of the new man could find themselves on the bench in place of youngster Justin Gulley.
Expected Wellington XI
Moss, Fenton, Muscat, Sigmund, Doyle, Lia, Rivera, Bonevacia, McGlinchey, Sarpong, Krishna.
Substitutes: Italiano, Gulley, Rodriguez, Powell, Appiah.
Omitted: Danaskos, Fox.
Stats and Figures
- In the unlikely event he gets any game time, Andre Jannese will become the 114th player to represent Brisbane in a competitive game.
All-time record against Wellington Phoenix