Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory opened the Hyundai A-League season in stunning fashion and Head Coach John Aloisi expects another exciting clash when the sides meet at AAMI Park on Friday night (6:50pm KO).
Both sides sit inside the top three on the Hyundai A-League ladder and recent encounters between the sides suggest an entertaining encounter as the Roar look to re-join the winners list.
“Any time you play the Victory, in form or not, it’s going to be a tough game. They always seem to be exciting, high-tempo games,” Aloisi said.
“I expect the first 30 minutes to be played at a tempo that we haven’t played at for a while. Once the game settles down we believe that we can create problems for the Victory.
“We believe that when we play at our best that we can beat any team in the league.”
Brisbane have suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this season while the Victory will be looking to extend their winning streak to six matches.
The Roar do however have the upper hand in recent meetings going undefeated in the past four clashes, including a 5-0 trouncing last March.
Aloisi says recent results aren’t a fair reflection on his side’s performance and believes the Roar are more than capable of taking Friday night’s game
“The results in the last two weeks haven’t gone our way but we expect the boys to respond,” Aloisi said.
“This is what Brisbane Roar love, going down to Melbourne as underdogs with our backs up against the wall.
“We’re improving in certain areas and there is lots of improvement still to come. You can only control what’re you’re trying to do and I believe that that will bring results in the long-term.”
The Roar’s back four have been unyielding for a much of the season so far but will have their work cut out for them facing one of the league’s most dangerous attacks.
The Victory average the most goals per game throughout the Hyundai A-League with attacking duo Marco Rojas and Besart Berisha in devastating form in front of goal.
The Roar have enjoyed the luxury of maintain the same back four for most of the season to date who have shown that they are capable of restricting some of the league’s most potent attackers.
“They have a great attacking force but we’re confident in our back four,” Aloisi said.
“Luke [DeVere] and Jade [North] have a lot of experience and Jack [Hingert] and Corey [Brown] have done really well as fullbacks. It’s not just the back four though, it will be about everyone stopping the ball getting to their forwards.
“We’re confident that we can do a job against them but we know it will be a difficult one.”
Both sides are yet to taste victory after conceding first, suggesting that the first goal of Friday night’s match will go a long way to deciding the outcome.
Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar
Friday, 13 January, AAMI Park, 6:50pm
Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Marco ROJAS, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Max BEISTER, 10.James TROISI, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.James DONACHIE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 40.Matt ACTON (gk) **two to be omitted**
Ins: 9.Max BEISTER (promoted), 16.Rashid MAHAZI (promoted), 22.Stefan NIGRO (promoted)
Outs: 15.Alan BARO (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 27.Alastair BRAY (shoulder – 3-4 months)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 11.Tommy OAR, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.ARANA, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17. Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO **two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted), 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO (promoted)
Unavailable: 10.Brett HOLMAN (knee – 1-2 weeks)