Brisbane Roar Head Coach John Aloisi today named an unchanged 18-man squad to take on Melbourne Victory at home on Saturday (6.30pm KO) in a further indication his players are peaking for the business end of the season.
The Roar are only a handful of points away from securing finals football after the disappointment of last season while a win over the Victory will also keep Brisbane firmly in the hunt for the Premier's Plate.
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The entire Roar squad trained today, including striker Jean Carlos Solorzano and defender Jerome Polenz, who are both just weeks away from being declared fully fit.
Goalkeeper Michael Theo also has recovered from slight leg knock sustained in last weekend's dramatic 3-2 win over Western Sydney, where Dimitri Petratos (below) netted the winner.
"In a couple of weeks we should have virtually a full squad to choose from so that gives me options," Aloisi said today.
The Roar Boss and his back-up staff have meticulously planned fitness training and loadings throughout the season and those preparations are now paying dividends.
"We planned to physically be at our peak in March and April," Aloisi said.
"You can see that we are on track in how we ran over Wanderers in the last 15 minutes.
"We are coming to the peak of our fitness now.
"The intensity at training is even stronger. That's because of the competition for places (in the Starting XI) plus physically, the players are feeling good."
The 18-player squad named today does not include new signing Tommy Oar (below), who is still playing catch-up on fitness after spending a month on the sidelines before joining the Roar.
Hyundai A-League Round 23, Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory, Saturday, 12 March, 2016, Suncorp Stadium, 6.30 pm kick off (Qld time)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO, 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.HENRIQUE, 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, 28.Brandon BORRELLO **two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Devante CLUT (promoted), 20.Shannon BRADY (promoted); Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 6.Jerome POLENZ (quadriceps - 2 weeks), 11.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (quadriceps - 1 week)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2. Jason GERIA, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.Connor PAIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 23.Jai INGHAM, 24.Thomas DENG **two to be omitted**
Ins: 11.Connor PAIN (promoted), 13.Oliver BOZANIC (returns from injury); Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES (suspended – 1 week), 21.Carl VALERI (ill – season)
Referee: Jarred Gillett; Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald; Assistant Referee 2: David Walsh; Fourth Official: Peter Green
TV: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 6.15pm (Qld time) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio: 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local Radio Vic, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.
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