Revenge will be in the air for Brisbane Roar FC when they host the high-flying Wellington Phoenix on Monday night. The two sides met in their last game before the break with the Kiwis cruising to a 3-0 victory - but there are some big names back for the Queensland outfit.
Monday, 2 February 2015
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 7pm (Local), (8pm AEDST)
Brisbane Roar 1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 16.Devante CLUT, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE, 34.Shannon BRADY.
***two to be omitted***
Ins 1.Michael THEO (returns from injury), 2.Jerome POLENZ (new signing), 17.Matt McKAY (returns from international duty), 22.Thomas BROICH (returns from injury), 33.Luke DeVERE (new signing)
Outs 30.Matt ACTON (gk) (injury replacement deal ends), 7.Mensur KURTISHI (released), 13.Jade NORTH (suspended - one week), 20.Kofi DANNING (omitted)
Unavailable 6.George LAMBADARIDIS (knee - two weeks), 10.HENRIQUE (calf - two weeks)
Wellington Phoenix 1. Glen MOSS (GK), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Michael BOXALL, 7, Kenny CUNNINGHAM, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Nathan BURNS, 10.Michael McGLINCHEY, 12.Tyler BOYD, 13.Albert RIERA, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Vince LIA,18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 21, Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c)
***One to be omitted***
Ins 9.Nathan BURNS (returns from international duty), 21.Roy KRISHNA (returns from injury).
Outs 11.Jeremy BROCKIE (transferred), 15.Justin HICKS (omitted).
TV broadcast - Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio broadcast - ABC Grandstand Digital, Online/ ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Referee Alan Milliner
Assistant Referee 1 Ashley Beecham
Assistant Referee 2 Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official Alex King
A quirk in the Hyundai A-League draw - and the break for the Asian Cup - sees these two sides go head-to-head for the second match in a row - albeit a month apart. Given the huge gulf between the two sides in the last meeting, Roar will be hoping the time off will have seen them fix any deficiencies in their game. It won't be easy against a Phoenix outfit which has proven themselves as a serious championship contender. Ernie Merrick's well-drilled side is the hottest team in the competition and a victory would take them to within two points of league-leaders Perth Glory.
Roar has some huge inclusions for their squad. The names just roll off the tongue: Broich, Theo, DeVere, Polenz and possibly Socceroo Matt McKay (depending on how he pulls up after the Asian Cup final).
They are all top-quality experienced players and with at least four of them likely to start, Brisbane have a team more than capable of moving up the ladder. Phoenix will be sweating on Nathan Burns' availability. This match comes just 48 hours after the Asian Cup final but if he plays it could swing the pendulum back in Wellington's favour.
OPTA DATA STATS
-Brisbane is yet to win at home this season (D2 L3) and have scored just three goals at Suncorp Stadium.
-Roar's top scorer Henrique has failed to score in three games, having scored six in the six prior to that.
-Phoenix has won their last four games in the Hyundai A-League - they've never won five in a row.
-Brisbane Roar has scored exactly half as many goals as Wellington this season (14 to the Nix's 28).
ROUTE TO GOAL
There's no doubt Roar have missed the creativity and guile of Thomas Broich during his long absence through injury. Much of the burden for goals has fallen on the shoulders of diminutive attacker Henrique and the Brazilian has done exceptionally well, but with his calf injury the goals will need to come from somewhere else. It would be no surprise to see the German employed in a more central role under Thijssen to get him more involved. The visitors have Roy Krishna, Michael McGlinchey and Roly Bonevacia to hurt Roar, and Socceroo Nathan Burns could feature from the start after returning from Asian Cup duty.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Jerome Polenz. The ex-Western Sydney Wanderers FC defender is back in the Hyundai A-League and should slot straight into Roar's troublesome right-back position. A tough-tackling defender with great "engines" and quality going forward, the German will add some experience and class to the Brisbane side and will have a huge test straight up, trying to stop in-form Wellington flyer Roy Krishna. With Luke DeVere, Thomas Broich and Michael Theo also back in the side - plus new signing Andrija Kaluderovic still to come - it's very much a fresh-start for the champions who will hope results will begin to improve.