A wounded Hyundai A-League leader Brisbane Roar hope to bounce back in a big way whey they host resurgent Adelaide United in a fascinating kick off to Round 16 on Friday night.
Friday, 22 January 2016
Brisbane Roar FC v Adelaide United
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 7:00 PM (Local) (8:00 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official: Alex King
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT), SBS TWO from 7:30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 612 ABC Brisbane, 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC Local Radio Qld & SA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Crocmedia A-League Live ( www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio )
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #BRIvADL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Jerome POLENZ, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Nick D'AGOSTINO
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Jerome POLENZ, 16.Devante CLUT, 26.Nick D'AGOSTINO (all promoted)
Outs: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO (suspended – 1 match), 11.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (thigh – to be determined)
Unavailable: 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 15.James DONACHIE, 29.Brandon BORRELLO (all Olyroos duty)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.PABLO SANCHEZ, 8.ISAIAS, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben Warland, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Mate DUGANDZIC, 19.Eli BABALJ, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 25.Ruon TONGYIK, 30.Daniel MARGUSH (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (returns from injury), 15.Ben Warland (promoted), 23.Jordan ELSEY (returns from suspension), 24.Bruce KAMAU (returns from injury), 25.Ruon TONGYIK (promoted)
Outs: 2.Michael MARRONE (suspended – 1 match), 18.Jimmy JEGGO (suspended), 80.John SOLARI (not selected)
Unavailable: 9.Sergio CIRIO (hamstring – 2 weeks), 20.John HALL (gk) (international duty)
A Friday night thriller opens round 16 of the Hyundai A-League between the competition leaders and a Reds outfit on the rise.
It’s perhaps a little early to suggest Roar have peaked but two games without a win ensures there must be some concern for coach John Aloisi.
A goalless draw with Wellington followed by a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Melbourne Victory means all eyes will be on the men in orange to see how they respond, though having influential Matt McKay passed fit to play is a boost.
At least they should have a big home crowd behind them but how they go about scoring goals without Olyroos Jamie Maclaren and Brandon Borrello appears their biggest issue (they'll also be missing big defender James Donachie who scored for the Olyroos against Vietnam).
There’s no such problems with Guillermo Amor’s outfit who are the form team of the A-League right now.
Last weekend’s comfortable 3-1 triumph over the Mariners made it seven games without defeat, opening up a four-point gap between the Reds in sixth and the chasing pack.
Another three points here – and with those behind them a strong chance to drop points – Adelaide would go a long way to locking up a finals spot even this far out from the end of the regular season.
A water-tight defence has been the key to their form reversal, shipping just three goals in the last seven matches.
With goal-keeper Eugene Galekovic back between the sticks for this one, Adelaide will be even tougher to topple for the fired-up Roar.
Expect a finals-like intensity between two sides that have built up quite a healthy rivalry over the last few years.
-Brisbane Roar has won eight of their last 11 Hyundai A-League matches against Adelaide United, including their first clash this season 3-0.
-Adelaide United is now without a loss in their last seven Hyundai A-League matches. Not since October 2010 (13 matches) have they lasted longer without defeat.
-There has been a winner in each of the last 12 clashes between these two in the Hyundai A-League, with the last draw in this fixture coming in March 2012.
-Brisbane is the only club to have more than one player make more than 500 passes in opposition territory (Corona 631, Broich 538, McKay 511).
ROUTE TO GOAL
While Roar players and coach Aloisi are playing it down, there can be no denying Brisbane is struggling without dynamic duo Jamie Maclaren and Brandon Borrello.
Since the pair have been absent on Olyroos duty, Roar has failed to find the net in the last two matches – a goalless draw with Wellington followed by last weekend’s capitulation to Victory.
In fact it’s been 209 minutes since the league-leaders have found the back of the net.
Is it a coincidence? Well Maclaren and Borrello have scored 12 of Roar’s 22 goals this campaign and their pace and movement is being sorely missed.
Henrique and Solorzano are strong, experienced A-League players but have yet to prove they can deliver on a regular basis.
For the Reds, just get the ball to Craig Goodwin!
The 24-year-old has really hit his straps over the last few weeks, and scored a brilliant goal as well as providing an assist for Mate Dugandzic.
But it’s the strikers who continue to struggle, with both Bruce Djite and Eli Babalj still looking for their first goals of the season.
The likes of Carrusca, Goodwin, Cirio and Sanchez have been able to cover that in recent weeks but if the Reds are to be a serious finals contender, their centre-forwards must begin to deliver.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
The entire Brisbane Roar team. They might be top of the league but Roar was crushed 4-0 by champions Melbourne Victory last weekend. Was it merely an aberration or are the cracks starting to appear ?