Round 6 of the A-League will conclude with Brisbane Roar hosting Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon in a clash which promises to be an intriguing one for a host of reasons.
Brisbane, who’ve won two from two at home this season, return to Suncorp after a 0-0 stalemate last Friday seeking to maintain their unbeaten run at home.
Last week saw Brisbane fail to find the net for the first time since the FFA Cup Round of 32 loss to Western Sydney, however the Roar did manage to record a second straight clean sheet.
Perth meanwhile were inactive in the league last weekend, instead competing against Melbourne Victory in the FFA Cup Final, a game where the hosts superior quality in the final third saw them win 2-0.
In the league, Perth have gotten off to a slower start than they would have liked, with just one win from their opening four games. They have however been competitive in all of their games and find themselves sitting 9th on the table with a game in hand.
Despite this being a clash featuring sides at either end of the table, the game should be a close one due to the various national team call-ups that both sides will suffer from.
The home side will be without defender Corey Brown, striker Jamie Maclaren and captain Matt McKay, while Perth will be without full-back Josh Risdon who has been called up for the first time.
Brisbane Roar- 3) Shane Stefanutto, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 10) Henrique Silva, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 16) Devante Clut, 18) Javier Hervas, 19) Jack Hingert, 20) Shannon Brady, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 26) Nick D’Agostino, 28) Brandon Borrello, 36) Andre Jannese.
** One to be omitted.
Perth Glory- 1) Ante Covic, 2) Alex Grant, 3) Marc Warren, 5) Antony Golec, 6) Dino Djulbic, 7) Gyorgy Sandor, 10) Nebosa Marinkovic, 11) Richard Garcia, 12) Jerrad Tyson, 13) Diogo Ferreira, 15) Hagi Gligor, 16) Sidnei Sciola, 17) Diego Castro, 20) Guyon Fernandez, 23) Michael Thwaite, 24) Jamal Reiners, 26) Stefan Valentini, 29) Aryn Williams.
** Two to be omitted.
For Brisbane, the big decision will be upfront with John Aloisi having to decide which of his multitude of options is best equipped to fill the role vacated by Jamie Maclaren due to his Olyroos selection.
I wrote about the options Aloisi has earlier in the week, with Shannon Brady, Javier Hervas, Devante Clut and Dimitri Petratos and Nicholas D’Agostino all an option for the manager. Amongst those options now as well is Henrique who is fit again after recovering from an ACL injury in the latter stages of last season.
Complicating matters for Aloisi is the need to also replace Matt McKay who is away with the national side with Lustica the obvious candidate for that role.
Upfront I still believe some combination of Petratos and Clut will be the plan from the start, possibly with both rotating from that attacking midfielders role. Young D’Agostino and Spaniard Hervas should come into the game in the second half.
Expected Brisbane XI: Young, Hingert, North, Bowles, Stefanutto, Corona, Lustica, Clut, Petratos, Borrello, Broich.
Substitutes: Jannese, Donachie, Hervas, Henrique, D’Agostino.
For Perth, they only have the one absentee from the team which lost in the FFA Cup Final to Melbourne last week, with Josh Risdon being called up to the Australian squad for the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh.
Returning for the Glory is Hungarian midfielder Gyorgy Sandor who should add extra creativity to the Glory side, something which was possibly missing last week in the Cup Final. He’s likely to start in the heart of the midfield, probably in place of former Roar utility Diogo Ferreira.
At the back Kenny Lowe will have to choose between former Portsmouth utility Alex Grant or former Burnley defender Aryn Williams. Diogo Ferreira is also a possibility of playing as a full-back, however since leaving Brisbane he has been used solely as a midfielder.
Expected Perth XI: Covic, Williams, Thwaite, Djulbic, Warren, Gligor, Sandor, Marinkovic, Castro, Sciola, Garcia.
Substitutes: Tyson, Golec, Grant, Ferreira, Fernandez.
Omitted: Reiners, Valentini.
Brisbane: Brandon Borrello (4)
Perth: Gyorgy Sandor (3)
Stats and Figures
- Should any of Andre Jannese, Javier Hervas or Nicholas D’Agostino make their debut on Sunday, they would become the 114th, 115th and 116th players to represent Brisbane Roar in a competitive game.
- Javier Hervas is the 5th player to wear the #18 shirt for Brisbane. He follows in the footsteps of Warren Moon, Dario Vidosic, Danny Tiatto and Luke Brattan.
- Brisbane’s record at home against Perth Glory is a strong one, with just two losses in 15 games.
All-time record against Perth Glory
Also this weekend on the same day is the Round 5 W-League clash between Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory, which is being played as a curtain raiser before the A-League clash.
After a bye week, Belinda Wilson and her side will be out to bounce back from their last start, a 2-1 loss at home to Adelaide, however they will have to do so without Matildas trio Katrina Gorry, Clare Polkinghorne and Tameka Butt.
Perth, who won the W-League Premiership last season, have had a tough start to the season with just one win in the opening month of the season, sitting in 7th place on the table.
Rounding out the weekend is the first National Youth League home game of the season against Melbourne Victory at Cleveland Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.
Brisbane won their first game of the new season last Saturday away to Perth thanks to a brace from striker Nicholas D’Agostino and will be out to make it two from two in Conference B.
Melbourne Victory meanwhile suffered a first up loss away to Adelaide United on Saturday afternoon 4-2. Victory’s youth side however is not one to be taken lightly, with the side winning the NPL Victorian Second Division last season.
Kick-off in the NYL clash between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory from 3.00pm at Cleveland Showgrounds, Redlands.