PREVIEW: Roar well-balanced ahead of new campaign

Brisbane Roar Head Coach John Aloisi is impressed with the depth within his side ahead of tomorrow night’s Hyundai A-League season opener against Melbourne City.

The Roar start their Hyundai A-League campaign at Melbourne’s AAMI Park and Aloisi says there is a good mix within the squad.

“We feel that we have a strong squad. The younger players have matured over the last six months and are ready to help,” Aloisi said.

“We have a good balance in our squad, believe in what we’re doing and know that our players are winners.

“The players that we have brought in have won a lot in their careers, so we’re happy with the squad we have assembled.”

#33 Petros SKAPETIS

One of those new recruits is potent Italian striker Massimo Maccarone, who has been named in the Roar’s first matchday squad of the season.

The striker, who has top-flight experience in both England and Italy, has slotted seamlessly into the squad and has shown he’s capable of finding the back of the net during pre-season.

“No one can doubt his pedigree and what he has achieved in his career. He’s looking fit and has fit in really well with the players,” Aloisi added.

“He’s understanding the way his teammates play and they’re understanding how he plays.

A thumbs up from our Italian marquee Massimo Maccarone

On the other side of the park, Melbourne City will be missing two key players in strikers Tim Cahill and Bruno Fornaroli due to international duty and injury respectively.

The Roar are undefeated in their last three matches against the Victorian outfit and have won its last two season openers played away from Suncorp Stadium, but Aloisi is expecting a fiercely-fought contest.

“They’ll be difficult [to play against] because they have good players,” he said.

“It’s hard to know how they’ll play with a new coach and having played with a few different systems in pre-season, but they still have quality players.

“They are missing a few players, so are we. In the Hyundai A-League, you need a strong squad and that’s what they have. We’re no different and it should be a good game."

Matt McKay

Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Round 1: Melbourne City FC v Brisbane Roar FC
Friday, 6 October
AAMI Park, Melbourne (6:50pm KO QLD time)

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 6.Osama MALIK, 7.Nick FITZGERALD, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 9.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 13.Stefan MAUK, 14.Daniel ARZANI, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN (c), 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Marcin BUDZINSKI, 44.Ross McCORMACK **two to be omitted**

Unavailable: 10.Fernando BRANDAN (ACL - indefinite), 17.Tim CAHILL (international duty – 1 week), 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (ankle - indefinite)

Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 5.Corey BROWN, 9.Massimo MACCARONE, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Mitchell OXBORROW, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 18.Joe CALETTI, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 25.Rahmat AKBARI, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 33.Petros SKAPETIS **two to be omitted**

Unavailable: 2.Dane INGHAM (international duty – 1 week), 4.Daniel BOWLES (knee – TBC), 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN (hamstring – 2-3 weeks)