A-League preview: Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix

Wellington went top last week and are dreaming of finals glory while Roar have a battle on their hands to finish in the six. So much to play for between two free-scoring outfits: what a way to close out #EraseRacism Round 22 of the Hyundai A-League.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Kick-Off: 4pm (Local) 5pm AEDT)


Brisbane Roar  2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 15.James DONACHIE, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE, 36.Fraser CHALMERS (gk) ***two to be omitted*** Ins 16.Devante CLUT (promoted), 18.Luke BRATTAN (return from suspension) Outs Nil Unavailable 1.Michael THEO (groin – two weeks), 13.Jade NORTH (groin – one week)

Wellington Phoenix  1.Glen MOSS (GK), 3.Joel GRIFFITHS, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Michael BOXALL, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Nathan BURNS, 10.Michael McGLINCHEY, 13.Albert RIERA, 14.Alex RUFER, 15.Jason HICKS, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 21, Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c) ***one to be omitted*** Ins 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ (returns from injury), 9.Nathan BURNS (returns from injury), 14.Alex RUFER (promoted) Outs 2.Manny MUSCAT (shoulder – 1 week), 29.Joel STEVENS (omitted) Unavailable 6.Josh BRINDELL-SOUTH (shoulder – 4 weeks), 7.Kenny CUNNINGHAM (hamstring – 2 weeks), 11.Kwabena APPIAH (calf – 1 week), 12.Tyler BOYD (ankle – 2 weeks), 23.Matthew Ridenton (knee – 2 weeks)

Hashtag: #BRIvWEL

TV broadcast  – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT)

Radio broadcast – Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.

Referee Alan Milliner

Assistant Referee 1 Nathan MacDonald

Assistant Referee 2 Anton Shchetinin

Fourth Official Alex King


If Roar’s last two matches are anything to go by, this will be a high-scoring thriller.

Frans Thijssen’s side went down 5-4 in a nine-goal epic against Sydney FC and followed it up with another cracker on Wednesday night in the ACL as they played out a 3-3 draw with Suwon Samsung Bluewings.

There’s no doubt Roar’s defensive structure will have been worked on in the couple of days’ preparation for this clash.

Outside the top six by two points – albeit with two games in hand – this is a vital clash for Brisbane, especially as they will lose Matt McKay, Luke DeVere, James Donachie and Corey Brown to international duty for the next round.

Phoenix is now the hunted in the Hyundai A-League having surged to the top with last weekend’s 2-1 win over Perth Glory. How will Ernie Merrick’s side cope with that added pressure?

Fresh from his two goals against Suwon, youngster Devante Clut has been included in Roar’s extended squad, along with the returning Luke Brattan from suspension.

Thomas Broich was left out of the starting side against the Koreans but should be right to start this one.

There is a couple of big inclusions for the league-leaders as top scorer Nathan Burns and key midfielder Alex Rodriguez return from injury, although they do lose defender Manny Muscat, with Tom Doyle expected to start at left-back.


-Brisbane Roar has won six of their last seven meetings with Phoenix (L1), scoring at least twice in each victory.

-Wellington has never won or kept a clean sheet in 12 previous visits to Brisbane (D2 L10) in the Hyundai A-League.

-These sides have one win apiece in meetings between them this Hyundai A-League season, with the winning side scoring three on both occasions.

-Roar have received fewer yellow cards than any other side this season (32), while Wellington are one of three sides yet to receive a red card (along with Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United).


Goals don’t seem to be a problem for either of these sides of late. Roar found the net four times against Sydney FC last weekend, but still found themselves on the wrong end of the result.

There’s no doubt much of this week would have been spent trying to fix those defences lapses for Brisbane boss Frans Thijssen.

They will need  to with the likes of Krishna, Burns, Griffiths, McGlinchey and Bonevacia coming to town. Youngster Brandon Borrello has been in good goal-scoring form of late and he will be a key for the home side’s chances of victory.


Roy Krishna. The flying Fijian is enjoying a dream season, playing a huge role in Wellington’s shock rise to the top of the Hyundai A-League table.

He faces a stiff challenge in this clash against Brisbane hard-tackling German right-back Jerome Polenz.


Roar’s unbeaten run since the Asian Cup break came to an in as they were on the wrong end of a nine-goal thriller against Sydney FC last Sunday. The result saw them drop out of the top six.

But they are still well-placed to get out of their group in the ACL for the first time ever after salvaging a late 3-3 draw with Suwon on Wednesday night.

Wellington surged to the top of the ladder with a massive 2-1 away win over previous leaders Perth Glory. Phoenix has won three matches in a row, all against sides up there with them in the top five.

Roar won 3-2 the last time these two met at Suncorp early last month.


Brisbane Roar has scored just seven goals at home this Hyundai season, fewer than any other side, while no side has won more away games than Wellington Phoenix this season (6).


Brisbane Roar FC 2-2 Wellington Phoenix

Given the way both sides play there should be a few goals in this one and it really could go either way.