Newly crowned Westfield FFA Cup winners Melbourne City will look to celebrate their maiden men’s trophy against another Hyundai A-League title contender in Brisbane Roar.
Saturday, 3 December 2016
Melbourne City FC v Brisbane Roar FC
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis
Assistant Referee 2: Luke Brennan
Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand, 1116 SEN (Melbourne), EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MCYvBRI
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Osama MALIK, , 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (c), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Osama MALIK (returns from injury), 18.Paulo RETRE (promoted), 21.Ruon TONGYIK (promoted)
Outs: 8.Neil KILKENNY (suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season)
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, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Joey KATEBIAN
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN (promoted), 28.Brandon BORRELLO (returns from injury), 33.Joey KATEBIAN (promoted)
Outs: 10.Brett HOLMAN (knee – 6 weeks)
Roar will have to do without Brett Holman on Saturday night with the former Caltex Socceroos midfielder having undergone knee surgery this week to take care of a small tear to his meniscus.
Holman is set to miss six weeks of football, which is a big blow for Brisbane as the 32-year-old has been critical to their early season form.
Brisbane sit fourth ahead of their visit to AAMI Park, with the Queensland-based club just three points adrift of second-placed City.
In his first A-League season, Holman has quickly become an integral member of John Aloisi’s Roar squad, starting all eight games and leading the team for chances created (14).
Aloisi is likely to pick Dimi Petratos as Holman’s replacement in the number 10 role, although Tommy Oar has been known to play centrally and can be easily deployed there.
In a plus, Brisbane will have Brandon Borrello and Thomas Kristensen back from injury.
City should be confident – they lifted the Westfield FFA Cup on Wednesday night and have won their past six home matches against Roar.
Coach John van ‘t Schip will be without Neil Kilkenny, who is suspended, while there are injury clouds hanging over Tim Cahill (knee) and Osama Malik (quadriceps) following the FFA Cup Final.
City battled to their first title against Sydney FC during the week, with Cahill’s second-half header deciding a feisty and tight contest at AAMI Park.
While some may not have been impressed by the football on offer, it’s hard not to be impressed by City’s newfound steel in 2016/17.
Van ‘t Schip’s side do push the boundaries at times – Luke Brattan’s early sliding tackle on Michael Zullo this week was an example of that – but it seems that City are no longer pushovers.
If City win this match – a potential fifth consecutive victory at AAMI Park in all competitions – they would move within a point of Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Everything seems to be going City’s way at the moment – the FFA Cup is in their trophy cabinet, they’re sitting second in the A-League and they have one of the most formidable attacks in Australia.
While Bruno Fornaroli, Fernando Brandan, Cahill and Co. have failed to match the heights since their 4-1 demolition of Melbourne Victory in Round 2, City’s shooting accuracy and conversion rate make them very dangerous.
Six clubs have taken more shots than City so far in 2016/17 but Van ‘t Schip’s side have the best shooting accuracy (51.5%) and the second best conversion rate (21.2%) in the league.
Brisbane are well down on both those measures – second last for shot conversion (11.1%) and seventh for shooting accuracy (43.1%).
Only Adelaide (7 goals) have scored less than Roar (8) this season but Aloisi’s side sit fourth in the A-League table thanks to a stronger defence, although whether that will be enough against City remains to be seen.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Tim Cahill. Yes, him again. The Caltex Socceroos striker again rose the occasion on the big stage on Wednesday night, nodding Ivan Franjic’s cross into the net to win the FFA Cup for City.
FORM LINES (all competitions)
Melbourne City: LWDWW
Brisbane Roar: WWDDD
Melbourne City 2-0 Brisbane Roar