Matchday preview: Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers

Topics

The last time these two sides met at this venue it was in an A-League grand final. It's been a difficult season for both sides but Roar are hitting their straps at the right time. Can the men in orange maintain their red-hot form or will the luck-less red and black be left feeling with another losing feeling in the sunshine state?

MATCH DETAIL

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Kick-Off: 4pm (Local) 5pm AEDT)

SQUADS
Brisbane Roar 
1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE

***two to be omitted***

Ins Shane STEFANUTTO (promoted), Steven LUSTICA (promoted), Jack HINGERT (promoted)

Outs Corey BROWN (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable Nil

Western Sydney Wanderers 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 3. Yusuke TANAKA, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Antony GOLEC, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Yojiro TAKAHAGI, 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14. Kerem BULUT, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 25.Sam GALLAWAY

***Two to be omitted***

Ins 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (promoted), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (returns from suspension), 8.Mateo POLJAK (returns from suspension)

Outs 5.Brendan HAMILL (injured – 1 week)

Unavailable 34.Golgol MEBRAHTU (knee – indefinite), .Shannon COLE (collar bone - 7 weeks), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder - indefinite)
 

Hashtag #BRIvWSW

Broadcast coverage

TV – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT)
Radio – Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app

Referee Yudai Yamamoto  (JFA)

Assistant Referee 1 David Walsh

Assistant Referee 2 Ashley Beecham

Fourth Official Peter Green

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Both these sides come into this one having to back-up from midweek AFC Champions League fixtures. While Roar should be buoyant after a superb 1-0 away win over Urawa Red Diamonds, there was more heartache for the Wanderers who lost a five-goal thriller against Guangzhou Evergrande.

At least that match was at home and the Wanderers don’t have to contend with recovering from a long flight back home. Just how much affect the travel has on Roar will become evident around 7pm on Sunday night. At least the home side look to be hitting their straps at just the right time following their inconsistent start to the season.

And while the Wanderers’ performances have improved of late, the results still aren’t forthcoming.

Young left-back Corey Brown is out for Roar following his red card last weekend. Veteran Shane Stefanutto will start there in his place. Expect the likes of Jerome Polenz and Jean Carlos Solorzano to start also having missed the midweek trip to Japan as Frans Thijssen freshens up his jaded side. 

The Wanderers have a couple of big inclusions with defender Matthew Spiranovic and Mateo Poljak from suspension. Brendan Hamill’s injury means there will be at least one change at the back, with Antony Golec and Yusuke Tanaka likely to fill the full-back roles. 

It will be interesting to see who Tony Popovic goes with in attack between Tomi Juric and Kerem Bulut.

OPTA DATA STATS

- The Wanderers have only failed to score in one of their previous 10 meetings with Brisbane in the A-League, but this was in their most recent meeting (0-1 in December 2014).

- Brisbane have won 10 points from a possible 12 (W3 D1) in their last four A-League matches but have won just one of their last six home games.

- Western Sydney Wanderers have scored just four second-half goals in their last 13 A-League games combined.

- Jean Carlos Solorzano has now scored in four successive A-League games for Brisbane Roar.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has deployed playmaker Yojiro Takahagi in a deeper midfield role in recent games and the move has seemed to work, giving them more penetration through the middle of the park. The addition of Bulut also looks to have added a new dimension to their attack.

Roar striker Solorzano has found the back of the net in each of their last four games and is arguably in career best form. But Thijssen will hope the Costa Rican can get some help from the likes of Brandon Borrello, Henrique and Andrija Kaluderovic.     

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Jerome Polenz. The German defender was a firm fan-favourite at ‘Wanderland’ and played a huge part in Western Sydney’s incredible success in the club’s first two years in existence. But Polenz is now in Brisbane and comes up against his former club for the very first time. There’s not many left wingers who enjoyed coming up against Polenz during his time at the Wanderers and he will ensure he give a torrid time to which ever man he has to mark in red and black on Sunday.

FORM LINES

Brisbane come into this clash on the high of picking up their first-ever win in the ACL, shocking Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 in Japan on Wednesday night. In the A-League they are on a four-game unbeaten run but sit just outside the top six.

It’s been a tough week for the Wanderers. Not only did they lose to bitter rivals Sydney FC 4-3 last weekend but followed it up with a tight 3-2 loss to Guangzhou Evergrande in the ACL on Wednesday. Roar won the first meeting between the clubs this season, a hard-fought 1-0 triumph at Pirtek Stadium.

DID YOU KNOW?

Luke Brattan has attempted the most shots on target (10) without having scored an A-League goal so far this season.

PREDICTION

Brisbane Roar 2-2 Western Sydney Wanderers

This clash might not have the same lustre as in previous seasons but is no less important, especially for Roar. They've done superbly since the Asian Cup break to get back within touch of the top six and will expect to turn their strong away form into wins in front of their home fans now. But the Wanderers aren’t happy sitting on the bottom of the ladder and want to start getting results, even if it is just a hard-earned point on the road.