A-League preview: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory

Wednesday’s clash will be a fascinating one as the rejuvenated Roar meet a Victory side still hurting from their shock loss to the Jets, but with the Premier's Plate very much in their sights.

MATCH DETAILS 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015
Brisbane Roar FC v Melbourne Victory
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 7:40 PM (Local) (7:40 PM AEST)

SQUADS 

Brisbane Roar FC squad:  5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 15.James DONACHIE, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Lachlan JACKSON, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE, 34.Shannon BRADY, 36.Fraser CHALMERS (gk)
***one to be omitted***

Ins: 15.James DONACHIE (return from injury), 34.Shannon BRADY (promoted).
Outs: 14.Daniel BOWLES (suspended – 1 week).
Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (quad – 1 week), 2.Jerome POLENZ (quad – 1 week), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO (quad – four weeks), 10.HENRIQUE (knee – indefinite), 13.Jade NORTH (groin – 1 week).

Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Mark MILLIGAN (C), 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.Connor PAIN, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21.Carl VALERI, 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 24.Scott GALLOWAY, 42 Lucas SPINELLA (GK) **two to be omitted**

Ins: 11.Connor PAIN (promoted), 24.Scott GALLOWAY (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 1.Nathan COE (injured), 26.Jordan BROWN (injured)
 

Broadcast Details 
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEST) and SBS Two from 7.30pm AEST) Radio Broadcast: Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.

Hashtag:  #BRIvMVC
Referee: Chris Beath

BLUFFER’S GUIDE 
This clash between two of the competition’s best passing and most-attacking sides has all the ingredients to be one of the most exciting clashes of the season. And the sub-text to this one is equally fascinating.

Brisbane has the chance to close in within one point of Melbourne City FC.

Victory have their own motivation with the chance to pull three points clear at top of the ladder and put one hand on the Premier's Plate.

This is the first of two meetings in four days between these sides and a positive result here will give one outfit and psychological advantage ahead of the weekend and potentially another meeting in the Finals Series.

Roar have a few problems in defence with Daniel Bowles suspended while Jade North (groin), James Donachie (hip) and Shane Stefanutto (calf) all battling injuries and in some doubt to be right to be involved.

Kiwi international winger Kosta Barbarouses has come off the bench over the last two games but could be brought into the starting side if Kevin Muscat looks to freshen up his team following Friday night’s poor showing.

Keeper Nathan Coe hasn’t travelled due to a back injury, with Lawrence Thomas set to make just his second start of the season.

OPTA DATA STATS 
-The last three meetings between these sides has ended 1-0 in favour of the home side, twice for Brisbane.

-Victory has not won in Brisbane since November 2009, a run of seven matches (D1 L6).

-No side has drawn fewer Hyundai A-League games this campaign than Brisbane Roar (4).

-Victory has been caught offside more often than any other team in the Hyundai A-League (97).

ROUTE TO GOAL 
Roar have found the right formula in front of goal over the last week or so, smashing nine in their last two Hyundai A-League matches.

It should perhaps come as no surprise the goals have begun to flow since Thomas Broich’s return to the side, while Serbian striker Andrija Kaluderovic looks to have finally settled.

Along with Jean Carlos Solorzano and Brandon Borrello, Roar have a front-four in-form and hard to handle.

Victory has their own fairly impressive attack but the likes of Besart Berisha, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Gui Finkler and Archie Thompson fired blanks against Newcastle Jets last Friday.

They rarely struggle two matches in a row which could be a concern for Thijssen’s troops.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK? 
Roar young gun Brandon Borrello. Named NAB Young Player Nominee for March.
And Nathan Coe’s back problems have caused a problem for Victory boss Kevin Muscat.

FORM LINES 
Roar: WWLLL
Victory: LWWDW
Roar made it back-to-back wins and continued their astonishing record in Adelaide with a well-deserved 3-2 win over the Reds last time out.

While the scoreline looked close, it was only two late consolation goals for Adelaide which took some of the gloss off a dominant showing from the defending champions. Victory saw their recent unbeaten run come to an end with a surprise and disappointing home defeat to the lowly Jets. There was none of the normal flair and verve Victory normally show in attack.

Can they find that type of play again in time for kick off on Wednesday night?

DID YOU KNOW? 
This will be Besart Berisha’s 100th Hyundai A-League game?

PREDICTION 

Brisbane Roar FC 2-2 Melbourne Victory 
This should be an absolute cracker and is a hard one to pick. A Roar win would not only see them close in on City but set up a fascinating battle for the Premier's Plate, with the top four to be separated by just one point. After slipping up against the Jets last week, you would expect Victory to want to hit back hard but Brisbane’s good form could see these two split the points.