Preview: Perth Glory vs Brisbane Roar

The reigning Hyundai A-League champions face a Glory on a high - and higher than them on the ladder. And with a still-lingering taste of that controversial 2012 Grand Final, this should be a spicy encounter in the West.

Sunday, 19 October 2014
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar FC
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 2:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEDT)

Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Mathew Cheeseman
Assistant Referee 2: Josh Mannella
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 1HD & 1 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, Local Radio WA, 612 ABC Brisbane, Local Radio QLD, Grandstand Digital, ABC Grandstand Online/A-League Live Mobile phone app

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvBRI

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel Vukovic (GK) 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebosja MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 17.Mitch NICHOLS,18 Jack DUNCAN (GK) 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Scott JAMIESON 23.Michael THWAITE (C), 26.Harry O’BRIEN.

***Two to be omitted***

Ins: 2.Jack CLISBY (promoted), 26.Harry O’BRIEN (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (back – 1 week) ,16.Sidnei SCIOLA (calf – 3 weeks)

Brisbane Roar: 2.Matt SMITH (c), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 7.Mensur KURTISHI, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 10.HENRIQUE, 11.Liam MILLER, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Kofi DANNING, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 30.Matthew ACTON (gk)

***two to be omitted***

Ins: 4.Adam SAROTA (returns from injury), 14.Daniel BOWLES (promoted), 20.Kofi DANNING (promoted)

Outs: 17.Matt McKAY (suspension – 2 weeks)

Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (wrist – 2 months), 5.Corey BROWN (rib – 1 week), 6.George LAMBADARIDIS (knee – 4 weeks)

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Reigning champions Brisbane Roar will be looking to bounce back from their 2-1 opening-round loss at home to Adelaide United, but they may well have to do it to hard way out west.

Kenny Lowe's revamped Perth Glory got off the mark with a deserved 2-1 win at Wellington Phoenix on Sunday. There must surely be a desire in the home camp to make the long trip to nib Stadium a daunting proposition for visiting teams in 2014-15. 

What better way to make a statement of that intent than by inflicting a second defeat in succession on the title holders?

OPTA DATA STATS

Perth have a choice between seeking to interfere with Brisbane's preference for possession or accept they aren't going to see much of the ball and choose instead to keep their shape, while plotting to hit the visitors on the break. 

The Roar had a hefty 57.8 percent of possession in the loss at home to Adelaide, played 139 more passes than the visitors (477 to 338) and boasted a superior passing accuracy of 81.8 percent compared to the Reds' 69.8 percent.

Nevertheless, it was Josep Gombau's men who came away with all three points, evidence that Mike Mulvey's men can be undone even if you allow them to play their natural game. 

ROUTE TO GOAL

Thomas Broich will of course be the Roar's creator-in-chief at nib Stadium, where his former partner in crime Mitch Nichols is settling in as the Glory's go-to playmaker. Broich opened the scoring for Brisbane on Sunday, had three shots, completed more passes (40) and took more touches (78) than any of his team-mates in an orange shirt. 

Nichols also had three shots in his match against Wellington, played 47 passes and took 59 touches. The 25-year-old may never hit the heights of the two-time Johnny Warren Medallist, but this season is an opportunity for him to remind us of his ability after an unproductive move to Japan last term.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK

Matt McKay has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons, banned for two matches after being sent off in the loss to Adelaide for swearing at referee Ben Williams. His absence means one of fit-again Adam Sarota or Steven Lustica is likely to deputize alongside Luke Brattan and Liam Miller. 

FORM LINES

Perth went into the opening round on the back of some decidedly mixed late pre-season form. They managed heavy wins over Sorrento and Rockingham City, but drew with Adelaide United and lost to both of Melbourne's A-League clubs.

The Roar signed off on their pre-season with a thumping 10-0 win over Olympic FC. Prior to that they lost 2-0 to Adelaide in the FFA Cup round of 16, beat Palm Beach and Brisbane City 9-0 and 3-0 respectively and drew 1-1 with the Central Coast Mariners.

DID YOU KNOW?

There are only two survivors left at Perth Glory from the match-day squad that lost the 2011-12 grand final to Brisbane Roar, Danny Vukovic and Josh Risdon. The Roar still have six players who featured in the dramatic 2-1 win; Michael Theo, Shane Stefanutto, Matt Smith, Thomas Broich, Henrique and Luke Brattan. 

Two players have since swapped clubs, with Liam Miller now at the Roar and Nichols at Glory, via Melbourne Victory and now on loan from Cerezo Osaka.

PREDICTION

Result: Perth Glory 1-1 Brisbane Roar

This is a tricky one to call. Perth look a much tougher prospect these days, especially as midfield anchor Royston Griffiths - under done on his return to the Hyundai A-League last season - now has the benefit of a full pre-season behind him.

They have the makings of a potent attack, with Mitch Nichols, Youssouf Hersi and Andy Keogh all potential match-winners. 

The Roar have enough in their arsenal to score at least once in Perth. Their chances of success though may depend on whether or not Mensur Kurtisi demonstrates an eye for goal.

Besart Berisha's replacement added plenty of value in terms of combination play at home to Adelaide, but the two-cap Macedonia international has plenty to do if he is to prove a genuinely worthy successor to the Hyundai A-League's best striker.