Preview: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Melbourne Victory haven't lost to Brisbane since September 2008, a run of six Hyundai A-League matches which includes five Melbourne wins.
Date: Saturday October 23 Kick-off: 8:45pm AEDT, 7:45 AEST Venue: Suncorp Stadium Television: Live and exclusive on Fox Sports 1 from 8:30pm Match Centre: www.melbournevictory.com.au
Head-to-head Played 15: Wins: Melbourne Victory 9, Brisbane Roar 4, Draws: 2
Previous Meeting Melbourne Victory 3, Brisbane Roar 0, AAMI Park, September 2010
Why we don't like 'em Melbourne Victory haven't lost to Brisbane since September 2008, a run of six Hyundai A-League matches which includes five Melbourne wins. The one draw, in August last year at Etihad Stadium, was the most memorable of the recent encounters between the two teams. Brisbane took an early 2-0 lead and then led 3-1 at half time before Carlos Hernandez inspired Melbourne to a 3-3 result which included two of the best goals you have ever seen.
Melbourne secured a comfortable 3-0 win when these teams last met in September, with three second half goals, including an ingenious 'reverse nutmeg' from Ricardinho along with great goals from Tom Pondeljak and Grant Brebner.
Past five matches: Brisbane Roar: R10 (mw) Brisbane Roar 2 Central Coast Mariners 0, Suncorp Stadium R10: Brisbane Roar 1, Newcastle Jets 1, Suncorp Stadium R9: Perth Glory 1, Brisbane Roar 2, nib Stadium R8: Brisbane Roar 4, Melbourne Heart 0, Suncorp Stadium R7: Brisbane Roar 1, Adelaide United 1, Suncorp Stadium
Melbourne Victory R10: Melbourne Victory 3, Sydney FC 0, Etihad Stadium R9: Melbourne Heart 2, Melbourne Victory 1, AAMI Park R8: Newcastle Jets 0 Melbourne Victory 0, EnergyAustralia Stadium R7: North Queensland Fury 0 Melbourne Victory 0, Dairy Farmers Stadium R6(mw): Melbourne Victory 0 Wellington Phoenix 0, AAMI Park R6: Melbourne Victory 3, Brisbane Roar 0, AAMI Park
Decisions for Ernie The hardest decisions for coach Ernie Merrick at the moment are about who he leaves out, not who he brings in. There is unlikely to be many changes after last week's impressive effort against Sydney, however the two-time championship winning coach has left his options open by recalling Surat Sukha, Peter Franjic, Diogo Ferreira and Marvin Angulo into an extended squad.
Behind Enemy Lines Brisbane played on Wednesday so coach Ange Postecoglou has named a large squad to pick from, adding Matt Mundy, Rocky Visconte, Luke Brattan and James Meyer to the 15 who were on the teamsheet for the 2-0 win over the Mariners.
Our Hero Carlos Hernandez - Carlos is back! Last week's performance against Sydney was simply sensational as he scored one goal and set up another. It was by far his best showing of the season and if he continues in this type of form we could well be an exciting next few months.
Danger man Matt McKay - Don-t let his size fool you. He may look like he'd get blown away in a light breeze, but McKay is in career-best form at the moment. The Roar's recent run of good results can be attributed to his ability to control the game from the middle of the park.
Why we will win Despite the excellent win last week and a strong record against Brisbane, this shapes as tough match for Victory. The Roar have been quite impressive and have not lost a game (three wins, two draws) since these two teams met six weeks ago.
While the 3-0 scoreline made it look easy for Victory in that match, for the first 45 minutes Roar bossed the contest. In the end three defensive errors cost the visiting team and our boys were good enough to take advantage.
Both these teams like to play open and attacking football and so the fans at Suncorp could be in for a treat. The key will be stopping Brisbane's run from the midfield, in particular McKay and Thomas Broich. Victory, namely Grant Brebner and Billy Celeski, need to try and halt their momentum going forward while freeing up Hernandez to do to the Roar what he did to Sydney last week.
With Mate Dugandzic and Tom Pondeljak streaming forward alongside Robbie Kruse and Ricardinho, it is quite an attacking line-up and Hernandez is crucial to getting the most out of those players. The back three of Kevin Muscat, Rody Vargas and Adrian Leijer look super strong at the moment and you get the feeling that is a plan Merrick will stick with.
These are two very good teams who are sure to be there at the business end of the season. Melbourne have a few more options in attack and have the benefit of a few more days off heading into this and that could prove the difference.
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 11. REINALDO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 15. Matt McKAY (c), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21. James MEYER, 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK *four to be omitted*
In: Matt MUNDY (promoted), Rocky VISCONTE (promoted), Luke BRATTAN (promoted), James MEYER (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: HENRIQUE (broken arm - indefinite)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3. Mate DUGANDZIC, 4. Petar FRANJIC, 5.Surat SUKHA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER, 9.RICARDINHO, 11.Marvin ANGULO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 19. Evan BERGER, 20.Sebastian MATTEI (gk), 21. Robbie KRUSE 23. Adrian LEIJER, 27. Geoff KELLAWAY *four to be omitted*
In: Surat SUKHA (returns from injury), Petar FRANJIC (promoted), Diogo FERREIRA (promoted), Marvin ANGULO (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Archie THOMPSON (knee - indefinite), Matthew KEMP (knee - indefinite)