Matchday preview: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory

Is three days long enough for Brisbane Roar to regroup for another crack at Melbourne Victory? We’ll find out on Saturday night as the two sides battle just 72 hours after the Big V got the job done on Wednesday night.

MATCH DETAILS

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Kick-Off: 7.30pm (Local) 7.30pm AEDT)

SQUADS

Brisbane Roar – 2.Jerome POLENZ, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 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, 34.Shannon BRADY, 36.Fraser CHALMERS (gk)

***two to be omitted***

 Ins 2.Jerome POLENZ (return from injury), 13.Jade NORTH (return from injury), 14.Daniel BOWLES (return from suspension), 28.Brandon BORRELLO (return from injury)

Outs 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (unavailable), 33.Luke DeVERE (injured)

Unavailable 1.Michael THEO (quad – 1 week), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO (calf – 4 weeks), 10.HENRIQUE (knee – indefinite), 33.Luke DeVERE (quad – scan later today)

Melbourne Victory – 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 7.Gui FINKLER (returns from injury), 24.Scott GALLOWAY (promoted)

Outs Nil

Unavailable 1.Nathan COE (gk) (injured), 26.Jordan BROWN (injured)

Hashtag: #BRIvMVC

TV broadcast – Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.30pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio broadcast – Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app

Referee – Ben Williams

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream

Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham

Fourth Official: Alan Milliner

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

These two go head-to-head for the second time in four days following their rescheduled round 18 clash played on Wednesday night.

Victory did enough to get the points in that one and it will be interesting to see what psychological advantage it gives them.

And Kevin Muscat’s side certainly has plenty to play for. Top of the league on goal difference, victory for Victory would go a long way towards securing the Premier's Plate.

Roar are battling a few injuries – especially in defence – and with a crucial ACL clash next week, may have their focus elsewhere. Against a side as well-drilled and prolific as Victory, it could spell trouble.

There is some relief in the defensive area with Jerome Polenz, Jade North and Daniel Bowles all named to return and they could all come straight into the starting side. Handy given Socceroo Luke DeVere is out.

Victory could be boosted by the return of playmaker Gui Finkler, which will only add to their already powerful attacking thrust.

 OPTA DATA STATS

-Brisbane Roar have lost successive A-League matches against Melbourne Victory for the first time since September 2010 (three games).

-Melbourne Victory have not claimed a clean sheet away at Brisbane Roar in eight A-League visits.

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

-Melbourne Victory are one of just two teams (Adelaide United) yet to be awarded a red card this A-League season.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Even without the influential Finkler on Wednesday night, Victory didn’t lose too much of their thrust going forward. It just led to the likes of Mark Milligan and Carl Valeri giving more in an attacking sense. And how about Fahid Ben Khalfallah? His pass to set up Besart Berisha’s goal was top drawer.

Roar suffered without the pace and energy of Brandon Borrello on Wednesday and will need someone else to deliver that for them and give a threat in behind. Dimi Petratos has the ability to be that man but needs to get back to the form we saw in last year’s title-winning success.

If Borrello can shrug off injury to play, it would be a huge boost.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Carl Valeri. The Socceroo midfielder doesn’t score many goals but when he does they are generally spectacular. It was his howitzer that sent Victory on their way to victory on Wednesday night and Valeri will be crucial again in this one. Not for his goalscoring but keeping Roar playmaker Thomas Broich quiet at the other end.

FORM LINES (five last games)

Roar: LWWLL

Roar was made to pay for a slow start on Wednesday night, conceding twice in the first half before eventually going down 2-1. The result keeps them four points behind Melbourne City FC heading into the final two rounds.

Victory: WLWWD

Victory moved three points clear at the top with their third win from their last four matches, but Sydney's win in Newcastle saw that cut. With their superior goal difference, one win out of their last two matches would secure the Premier's Plate.

It would be their first piece of silverware since 2010 for the Big V.

DID YOU KNOW?

Brisbane Roar have only won one of their last eight A-League games played on a Saturday (D4 L3).

PREDICTION

Brisbane Roar 1-3 Melbourne Victory

Roar would have learned a lot from Wednesday’s defeat but four days is unlikely to be enough time for them to turn things around.

With the Premier's Plate now within touching distance for Kevin Muscat’s troops, they should get the job done.