Preview: Victory v Roar

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The A-League leaders face the reigning champions in what should be a classic clash to kick off Round 15 in Melbourne on Friday night.

Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar FC

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 7:40 PM (Local) (7:40 PM (AEDT))

Referee: Shaun Evans

Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis

Assistant Referee 2: Luke Brennan

Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS TWO from 7:30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 4.Nick ANSELL, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 18.Dylan MURNANE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 23.Jai INGHAM, 32.Stefan NIGRO, 33.Joey KATEBIAN

Ins: 19.George HOWARD, 32.Stefan NIGRO, 33.Joey KATEBIAN (all promoted)

Outs: 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (suspended – 1 match)

Unavailable: 2.Jason GERIA (Olyroos duty), 3.Scott GALLOWAY (Olyroos duty), 11.Connor PAIN (Olyroos duty), 15.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO (Olyroos duty), 21.Carl VALERI (ill – indefinite), 24.Thomas DENG (Olyroos duty)

Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 10.HENRIQUE, 11.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 33.Luke DEVER

Ins: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 16.Devante CLUT, 33.Luke DEVERE (all promoted)

Outs: 36.Andre JANNESE (gk) (omitted)

Unavailable: 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 15.James DONACHIE, 28.Brandon BORRELLO (all on Olyroos duty)

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

It has taken half the Hyundai A-League season for Melbourne Victory to play Brisbane Roar, with the title-holders set to host the Queenslanders at AAMI Park on Friday.

The symbolism of this clash will be fascinating as the stuttering champions take on the side leading the charge to inherit their A-League crown.

Brisbane top the table by a point from Western Sydney Wanderers and haven't lost in five matches, while Victory have only triumphed once in their past seven games, including last week's come-from-behind 3-3 draw with bottom club Central Coast Mariners.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat reckons he has just "10 match-fit bodies" for this fixture, with full-back Daniel Georgievski the latest on the Big V's absentee list due to a one-week suspension.

Melbourne are missing Jason Geria, Thomas Deng, Connor Pain, Giancarlo Gallifuoco  and Scott Galloway due to Olyroos duty.

The Roar have Jamie Maclaren and Brandon Borrello out for the same reason, and last week - in their first match without the key attacking duo - Brisbane were held scoreless for the first time in nine matches.

An undermanned Wellington Phoenix held John Aloisi's side to a 0-0 draw and Muscat will hope his similarly bare-bones line-up can at least pick up a point versus Brisbane.

Victory have not lost to the Roar since the 2013-14 finals, winning the past three meetings.

Goalkeeper Michael Theo is back in Brisbane's squad for the first time since Round 2 after a long fight with injury.

OPTA DATA

Brisbane have won one and drawn three of their last six away games against Victory and they've conceded only three goals in their last four

Victory are undefeated in their last six A-League regular season home fixtures (W5, D1), scoring 14 goals in the process

Muscat's men have conceded only one goal in the opening 15 minutes of the second half this season, the equal fewest of any team alongside both Sydney-based clubs

The Roar have scored four of their 22 goals so far this season in the same period, bettered only  by Melbourne City (9)