Head Coach John Aloisi is preparing to field a strong side in tomorrow night’s AFC Champions League Preliminary Stage 2 clash against Filipino champions Ceres-Negros FC.
Brisbane begin their journey to the AFC Champions League Group Stage for what would be the fourth time against the Philippines Football League victors at QSAC Stadium tomorrow night (7pm KO). Secure your seats HERE.
While the Roar will have the upper hand in terms of fitness, with the visitors having only just commenced pre-season training, Aloisi is expecting a tough challenge.
“I watched them play against Shan United last week. They are a well-organised and well-coached side who like to keep possession,” Aloisi said.
“They are a decent side and we’re expecting a tough game.
“We will play a strong team tomorrow night, one that will play to win the game. There may be a few changes, but it will be a similar side to the one that played on Thursday night against Perth.”
This is the second consecutive season the Roar have begun their AFC Champions League campaign at this stage.
Brisbane won through against another Filipino side in Global FC in 2017 with a thumping 6-0 victory at Suncorp Stadium, but are expecting a closer, tighter battle a year on.
“We’ve been in Asia before – it’s an extremely tough competition. We need to do a job tomorrow night, and if we’re not on our game, they are good enough to beat us,” Captain Matt McKay said.
“We want to test ourselves, be the best we can be and be in Asia so tomorrow night is a great opportunity.”
Competition for places within the Roar squad has intensified in recent weeks with a number of players returning from suspension and injury.
Ahead of a busy schedule in which Brisbane will have to juggle both AFC Champions League and Hyundai A-League requirements, internal competition can only benefit the Roar.
“You want that competition for places – the intensity lifts, not only on game days, but in training too – the players feel it,” Aloisi said.
“Getting players back in is a big plus for us.”
AFC Champions League Preliminary Stage 2: Brisbane Roar FC v Ceres-Negros FC
Tuesday, 23 January (7pm KO)