Resurgent Roar ready for Victory

Their rivalry is one of the most intense in the Hyundai A-League but in the two fiesty meetings between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory so far this season, the side from the south are yet to live up to their name against the reigning champions.

Their rivalry is one of the most intense in the Hyundai A-League but in the two fiesty meetings between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory so far this season, the side from the south are yet to live up to their name against the reigning champions.

With confidence in Victory camp high after a potentially season-changing win over league leaders Central Coast Mariners last Friday night, Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou and his men know they-ve got their work cut out for them if they intend on remaining undefeated against their Melbourne counterparts this campaign.

Brisbane also have their own reasons to cheer.

Their win over the Mariners two weeks ago before a solid 2-0 victory over Wellington Phoenix on Sunday means they are now in a position to push for a second consecutive premiership, being five points behind Central Coast in second place.

Victory are in desperate need of points if they want any chance of finishing in a finals spots come the end of the regular season in five weeks.

With all these factors combining in one must-win clash for both sides, Postecoglou expects nothing but a tightly fought game in tomorrow night-s match-up.

“It-s that time of the year where every game is a bit exciting and has a bit of an edge to it,” he said.

“Hopefully that brings out the best in players, it has in other teams and in us in the past couple of weeks.

“The Victory are no different, massive challenge and they-re always good games.

“There is always a bit of drama involved so we-re looking forward to it.

“They had a good win last week and against us, it always seems to be good quality games and we-re expecting no different on Saturday.”

Their previous two meetings have seen eight goals scored in a 2-2 draw and 3-1 Roar win and Brisbane captain Matt Smith is conceded he-ll be busy tomorrow night against what he described as “the best forward line in the league”.

Their attacking prowess against the Roar could include any combination of Harry Kewell, Archie Thompson, Jean Carlos Solorzano, Marco Rojas and Danny Allsopp.

“We-ve both got a lot to play for, Melbourne are chasing top six and we want to continue on our consistency from the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“For me, Thompson is their biggest threat - he-s very good at working off the defensive shoulder and if he gets half a chance behind you, very few defenders are going to catch him.

“We-re going to have to be on our toes certainly because Nico [Jean Carlos Solorzano] plays the same way.

“I had the luxury of playing against him in training sessions a lot last year, he-s similar to Thompson.

“He likes getting in behind you and nine times out of ten, they-ll finish, they-re both very good finishers.”

Saturday, 18 February 2012 Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory Venue: Suncorp Stadium Local kick-off: 6:45pm (7.45pm AEDT) TV broadcast: Fox Sports 1 Referees: Jarred Gillett / Dennis Silk / David Walsh / Matt Gillett

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 20): Brisbane Roar wins 6, Melbourne Victory wins 10 (4 draws)

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (gk), 2. Matt Smith (c), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran, 12. Matt Mundy, 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Andrew Redmayne (gk), 21. James Meyer, 22. Thomas Broich, 24. Nick Fitzgerald *two to be omitted*

In: 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran, 19. Jack Hingert (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: 14. Rocky Visconte (Qantas Australian U23 duty), 4. Matt Jurman (Qantas Australian U23 duty)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1. Tando Velaphi (gk), 3. Fabio, 4. Petar Franjic, 5.Mark Milligan, 6. Leigh Broxham, 7. Matthew Kemp, 9. Jean Carlos Solorzano, 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas, 14. Billy Celeski, 16.Carlos Hernandez, 17. Jimmy Jeggo, 18. Danny Allsopp, 21. Ante Covic (GK), 22. Harry Kewell, 23. Adrian Leijer (c), 24. Ubay Luzardo *two to be omitted*

In: 7. Matthew Kemp, 14. Billy Celeski (both returning from injury) Out: Nil Unavailable: 8. Grant Brebner (injured), 13. Diogo Ferreira (Qantas Australian U23 duty), 2. Matthew Foschini (Qantas Australian U23 duty), 19. Isaka Cernak (Qantas Australian U23 duty)