An injury cloud over influential midfielder Thomas Broich has slightly dulled a seemingly difficult selection headache for Head Coach Ange Postecoglou ahead of Brisbane Roar’s round nine match against Sydney FC at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah this Sunday.
An injury cloud over influential midfielder Thomas Broich has slightly dulled a seemingly difficult selection headache for Head Coach Ange Postecoglou ahead of Brisbane Roar-s round nine match against Sydney FC at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah this Sunday.
The German import failed to train with the rest of the Roar squad in preparations for the weekend due to a bruised heel with Postecoglou admitting his star player, who has scored twice and set up five goals already this season, is “doubtful” to face the Sky Blues.
His progress will be monitored in tomorrow-s final training session with a decision on his playing status to be made after.
“He-s not looking great but we-ll have another look at him tomorrow,” Postecoglou said.
“With so many games coming up, if he-s not 100 per cent we won-t take him.”
The return of Mitch Nichols and Kofi Danning from Qantas Olyroos commitments, as well as the impressive form of incoming players Issey Nakajima-Farran, James Meyer and Luke Brattan, means the former South Melbourne coach has a plethora of choices for his attacking set-up against Sydney.
Nakajima-Farran was especially impressive against Perth Glory last weekend, a constant threat in front of goal and scoring twice in eight first-half minutes.
The Head Coach-s decisions aren-t limited to his players up-front with reliable defender Matt Jurman back in Brisbane, fresh from a Man of the Match performance for the Australian under-23 side against Uzbekistan, while Mohamed Adnan excelled in his absence and Jack Hingert showing he can fit into the system with ease.
But Postecoglou is looking at the bigger picture.
The Sky Blues fixture kicks off a busy two-week period for the Hyundai A-League champions, who will play four games including a midweek trip to Dunedin to face Wellington Phoenix.
With that in mind, Postecoglou has been preparing his entire 20-man squad for the upcoming rush of games.
“The players had two days off this week, we were scheduled to have a break,” he said.
“We-ve got four games coming up in about 13 days so we-ve got a hectic period coming up and it was important to freshen them up.
“I want to make sure the whole squad is in good shape and ready to go.
“The beauty of it is that when we have missed players, like in the past couple of weeks, the team hasn-t missed a beat.
“It-s good, it gives me some options.”
Recent statistics favour Brisbane with the Roar losing just one of their last 14 matches against Sydney FC, a run that included a comprehensive 2-0 win in round two of this season.
The Sky Blues are also coming off two straight losses, against Central Coast Mariners and the Phoenix, while Brisbane hit a high last time out celebrating the all-time Australian undefeated record of 36 matches following the 4-0 victory at Suncorp Stadium.
Postecoglou had no doubt his players would approach Sunday-s match in the same way they had done for each of the other matches within the unbeaten run.
“It-s a challenge going down to Sydney, it-s going to be a tough game and we-re playing on a ground that we haven-t played on before,” he said.
“There was obviously a bit of celebration post-game on the field but by the time we got back to the dressing room, the boys were in recovery mode.
“I don-t see any reason why it-ll be any different this week.
“There are all sorts of challenges that get people motivated and it-s not necessarily thinking it-s going to be a let-down, I think there-s still plenty to achieve.”
Sydney FC vs. Brisbane Roar Sunday, 4 Dezember 2011 Venue: WIN Jubilee Kogarah Local Kick Off: 5:00pm Referee: Peter Green / Assistant Ref 1: Rod Allen / Assistant Ref 2: Lance Greenshields / 4th Official: Matthew Cropper
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 1 Radio broadcaster: 774 ABC Melbourne / 1116 SEN Melbourne / 88.6 Plenty Valley FM Melbourne
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 21): Sydney FC wins 5, Brisbane Roar wins 8 (8 draws)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Liam Reddy (gk), 2. Sebastian Ryall, 3. Jamie Coyne, 4. Pascal Bosschaart, 5. Michael Beauchamp, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Karol Kisel, 9. Bruno Cazarine, 10. Nick Carle, 11. Dimi Petratos, 12. Shannon Cole, 15. Terry McFlynn (c), 17. Terry Antonis, 18. Juho Makela, 19. Mark Bridge, 20. Ivan Necevski (gk), 23. Rhyan Grant *two to be omitted*
Ins: Dimi Petratos (returns from international duty), Sebastian Ryall (returns from international duty), Rhyan Grant (returns from international duty) Outs: Scott Jamieson (suspended), Hirofumi Moriyasu. Unavailable:N/A
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (gk), 2. Matt Smith (c), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman , 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Kofi Danning, 10. Henrique, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran, 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert, 21. James Meyer, 22. Thomas Broich, 30. Matt Acton (GK). *three to be omitted*
In: 9. Kofi Danning (Returns from international duty), 4. Matt Jurman (Returns from international duty), 17. Mitch Nichols (Returns from international duty) Out: Nil Unavailable: N/A