A strong week on the training park has Brisbane Roar primed to tackle Melbourne City in search of a third straight Hyundai A-League victory.
The Roar return to Suncorp Stadium tomorrow looking to continue the momentum built from back-to-back wins over Perth Glory and Central Coast.
John Aloisi’s side are back inside the top six on the back of two impressive performances and are confident of getting the job done against City, who are unbeaten in five games.
“We know that if we perform, that we can win, and that’s against any opposition,” Aloisi said.
“We will respect Melbourne City and are aware of their qualities, but we know what we are capable of and the quality that we have in this squad.”
Headaches at the selection table await Aloisi with key players including Fahid Ben Khalfallah, who is returning from a one-match suspension, fit and raring to play.
It’s just about the kind of headache a Head Coach wants and it has brought the best out of the Brisbane squad at training this week.
“This week in training, the level has been incredible because everyone wants to play – that can only be good for the team,” Aloisi said.
Defending Gary Wilkins Medalist Corey Brown has also been impressed by the intensity behind the scenes this week as well as the squad’s mindset.
“The boys have taken a great mentality into the last two games and It’s been a good week at training so hopefully we can continue to build tomorrow,” Brown said.
The fullback put in one of his best performances of the season in last week’s win against the Mariners after missing a couple of games through injury.
He won’t have to worry about potent Irish attacker Ross McCormack, whose loan spell at City has ended, but is still wary of a dangerous attack that features players like Dario Vidosic, Bruce Kamau and young talent Daniel Arzani.
The Roar have already beaten the Victorian side at Suncorp Stadium this year and will be looking for a similar performance to that one back in a 3-1 win in Round 7.
“Tomorrow is a massive game for us and a chance to cement that top six spot with a win. We’re looking at getting that winning feeling back at Suncorp Stadium,” Brown said.
Hyundai A-League Round 19: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Sunday, 4 February (6pm KO)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Massimo MACCARONE, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 11.Corey GAMEIRO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Mitchell OXBORROW, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG(gk), 22.Eric BAUTHEAC, 31.Brendan WHITE(gk), 36.Daniel LECK, 77.Ivan FRANJIC **two to be omitted**
Ins: 8.Jacob PEPPER (promoted), 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH (returns from suspension), 77.Ivan FRANJIC (promoted)
Outs: 20.Shannon BRADY (not selected)
Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (gk) (finger – 2 weeks), 3.Luke DEVERE (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 18.Joe CALETTI (foot – 6 weeks), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (foot – 1 week), 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO (ankle – TBC)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 6.Osama MALIK, 7.Nick FITZGERALD, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 13.Stefan MAUK, 14.Daniel ARZANI, 15.Denis GENREAU, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Marcin BUDZINSKI, 34.Connor METCALFE, 35.Ramy NAJJARINE **two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD (returns from suspension), 15.Denis GENREAU (promoted), 34.Connor METCALFE (promoted), 35.Ramy NAJJARINE (promoted)
Outs: 21.Ruon TONGYIK (omitted), 44.Ross McCORMACK (loan period concluded)
Unavailable: 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (ankle), 37.Nathaniel ATKINSON (ankle)