Head Coach John Aloisi expects tomorrow night’s Hyundai A-League clash at Suncorp Stadium to be another typically entertaining meeting between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory.
The two sides have a history of thrilling and tightly-fought clashes and Aloisi expects this Sunday's Round 11 fixture to be no different.
“We know it’s going to be a hard, but entertaining game,” Aloisi said.
“There’s always a great crowd and we know that our supporters will be right behind us and we’ll make sure that we make them proud.
“Why wouldn’t you want to come watch Brisbane Roar versus Melbourne Victory? There is always something entertaining about that fixture.”
The Victory sits in seventh position, behind the Roar on goal difference alone, providing an opportunity for Brisbane to consolidate their spot inside the top six.
Kevin Muscat’s side has won just the two games in season 2017/18, but the Roar are wary of the threat tomorrow’s opposition pose.
“They haven’t had the best start to the season but they have great players and are dangerous going forward,” Aloisi added.
One of those players is former Roar striker & all-time Hyundai A-League leading goalscorer Besart Berisha who won’t receive any extra attention from the Roar defence according to goalkeeper Jamie Young.
“We know he’s a good player who can score goals, but we need to focus on shutting down their entire attack and we’ll be up for the challenge," he said.
Young has anchored a defence that has kept back-to-back clean sheets and are on a mission to keep the Victory scoreless on Sunday.
“The clean sheets are a reflection of the defence as a collective and we’ll be looking to add to that. In saying that, it’s all about performing well and that’s the most important thing,” Young said.
“We’ve had a great rivalry with the Victory, and as a player, these are the games you want to play in.”
Brisbane is building momentum in the second half of the campaign and will welcome Danish international Thomas Kristensen back into the squad tomorrow for the first time this season.
With a crucial three points on the line, Aloisi says he expects his players to stand up once again.
“We’ve only lost one in the last seven games and we’ve taken two clean sheets in a row. We know that we need to keep on improving and I can’t ask more of our players who keep lifting every week,” Aloisi concluded.
Hyundai A-League 2017/18: Round 11 - Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, 17 December (6pm KO)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 2.Dane INGHAM, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Massimo MACCARONE, 11.Corey GAMEIRO, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Mitchell OXBORROW, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 18.Joe CALETTI, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 31.Brendan WHITE (gk), 33.Petros SKAPETIS, 77.Ivan FRANJIC **two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Dane INGHAM (promoted), 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN (returns from injury), 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH (promoted)
Outs: 22.Eric BAUTHEAC (hamstring – 4-6 weeks)
Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (gk) (finger – 2 weeks), 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS (suspended – 5 games), 10.Brett HOLMAN (knock – 1 week), 13.Jade NORTH (groin – 1 week), 20.Shannon BRADY (broken foot – TBC)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 14.Thomas DENG, 16.Josh HOPE, 18.Matias SANCHEZ, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 31.Christian THEOHAROUS, 41.Leroy GEORGE **two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Josh HOPE (promoted), 22.Stefan NIGRO (promoted), 31. Christian THEOHAROUS (promoted)
Outs: 5.Mark MILLIGAN (hamstring)
Unavailable: 11.Mitch AUSTIN (knee), 17.James DONACHIE (quad)
HOW DO WE SHAPE UP AGAINST THE VICTORY?
- Melbourne Victory has kept just one clean sheet this season while the Roar are looking for their third straight.
- No side has faced more shots than the Victory this campaign.
- Both sides have scored all but one of their goals from inside the penalty area.
- Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young's save percentage (82.8%) is the best in the Hyundai A-League
- The Roar are undefeated in their last four games at Suncorp Stadium against the Victory (W3, D1).
- Corey Brown has averaged 4.7 interceptions per game on home soil this season, the most of any player in the competition.