Round five of the A-League see’s Brisbane travel to Sydney for the second time this season following their round one clash against the Wanderers, this time in a top of the table clash against Sydney FC.
Both sides come into the game on the back of wins, with Sydney beating 10 man Central Coast on the road 3-1, while Brisbane beat Adelaide 3-0.
For Brisbane the focus last week was on the team’s defending, and despite the Reds having some good chances within the game they emerged with a clean sheet. Their first since Matchday 5 of the AFC Champions League away to Beijing.
Going forward they were equally pleasing with the new looked forward line of Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren continued their new-found partnership, with their runs in behind the Adelaide defence a focal point.
Sydney have had one of the best defences in the competition, so Maclaren and Borrello –who was named Young Player of the Month yesterday- will face their toughest test to date.
For the Sky Blue, they were forced to wait until the final 10 minutes to get the points against Central Coast, with former Mariners striker Matt Simon coming back to haunt his old side.
Despite that Sydney were well in control of the game, dominating possession and territory against the 10 men of the Mariners.
Throughout the week Graham Arnold outlined his belief that Brisbane are still adapting to a new defensive structure, indicating he will go at the Brisbane defence utilising the likes of Ninkovic, Holosko, Brosque and Smeltz.
Sydney – WWWL
Sydney- Shane Smeltz/ Matt Simon (2)
Brisbane- Brandon Borrello (4)
Brisbane Roar: 3) Shane Stefanutto, 5) Corey Brown, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 12) Jean Carlos Solórzano, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 16) Devante Clut, 17) Matt McKay, 19) Jack Hingert, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 28) Brandon Borrello, 36) Andre Jannese.
*One to be omitted.
Sydney FC: 1) Vedran Janjetovic, 2) Sebastian Ryall, 3) Alex Gersbach, 5) Matt Jurman, 7) Andrew Hoole, 8) Milos Dimtrijevic, 9) Shane Smeltz, 10) Milos Ninkovic, 11) Chris Naumoff, 13) Brandon O’Neill, 14) Alex Brosque, 18) Matt Simon, 19) Jacques Faty, 20) Ivan Necevski, 21) Filip Holosko, 23) Rhyan Grant, 24) George Blackwood, 27) Mickael Tavares.
*Two to be omitted.
Brisbane boss John Aloisi has a welcome headache on his hands as he regains the services of defender James Donachie and striker Jean Carlos Solórzano for tonight’s clash. It’s highly doubtful that he will change his starting side, however there’s a good chance that at least one of the returning duo will make the bench.
With Shannon Brady dropped from the squad, most likely to make him available for the start of the NYL season this weekend Solórzano is a likely starter from the subs bench. Donachie on the other hand may be forced to wait another week for selection with the centre back likely fighting Corey Brown for the bench defenders spot, however with Brown headed for Olyroos duty after this game he wont have to wait long.
Expected Brisbane XI: Young, Hingert, Bowles, North, Stefanutto, Corona, McKay, Petratos, Broich, Borrello, Maclaren.
Substitutes: Jannese, Brown, Lustica, Clut, Solórzano.
The big selection dilemma for Graham Arnold will likely reside in the Sydney attacking third where he’s got the returning Milos Ninkovic to consider and where does he slot back in, if indeed he does.
A straight swap for Naumoff seems the most likely, however Arnold could also be tempted to throw Andrew Hoole into the side from the start to offer natural width and pace against the susceptible Brisbane full-backs.
Expected Sydney XI: Janjetovic, Ryall, Faty, Jurman, Grant, O’Neill, Dimtrijevic, Ninkovic, Holosko, Brosque, Smeltz.
Substitutes: Necevski, Gersbach, Tavares, Hoole, Simon.
Omitted: Naumoff, Blackwood.
Stats and Figures
- Brisbane haven’t beaten Sydney in their last four games, with their last win arriving on December 26, 2013.
- Brisbane’s record at the Sydney Football Stadium isn’t the best, with just 3 wins in 15 games, however there have been 7 draws at the venue.
- Should reserve goalkeeper Andre Jannese get any game time, he will become the 114th player to represent Brisbane Roar in a competitive game.
All-Time Record against Sydney FC