A team with ACL knockout round hopes meet a Phoenix side with nothing but pride to play for. Will the Kiwi outfit rise one last time this season or is this Brisbane’s ticket to the Hyundai A-League top three?
Sunday, 16 April 2017
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEST))
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham
Fourth Official: Alex King
Video Assistant Referee: Chris Beath
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 4.30pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live 2nd half: ABC Radio Brisbane, ABC Radio Qld, Grandstand Digital
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #BRIvWEL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 11.Tommy OAR, 13.Jade NORTH (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 25.Kye ROWLES, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Joe CALETTI, 50.Dane INGHAM **two to be omitted**
Ins: 1.Michael THEO (gk) (promoted), 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS (promoted), 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN (promoted), 11.Tommy OAR (returns from injury), 22.Thomas BROICH (promoted), 25.Kye ROWLES (promoted), 50.Dane INGHAM (promoted)
Outs: 5.Corey BROWN (not selected), 15.ARANA (hamstring – TBC), 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (not selected), 43.Tomislav BILIC (gk) (not selected), 46.Cameron CRESTANI (not selected)
Unavailable: 4.Daniel BOWLES (knee – season), 17.Matt MCKAY (knee – 3 weeks), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (ankle – 1-2 weeks)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 17.Vince LIA, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 24.Logan ROGERSON, 25.Sarpreet SINGH, 30.Oliver SAIL (gk) **two to be omitted**
Ins: 24.Logan ROGERSON (promoted), 25.Sarpreet SINGH (promoted), 30.Oliver Sail (gk) (promoted)
Outs: 99.Shane SMELTZ (released)
Unavailable: 6.Dylan FOX (knee – season), 15.James MCGARRY (glandular fever), 16.Louis FENTON (groin – season), 23.Matthew RIDENTON (knee – season)
Roar have their eyes on third place in the Hyundai A-League.
They’ll achieve that if they beat Wellington while Melbourne City lose or draw to Perth, or if they draw with Phoenix and City lose.
Only a heavy defeat would see Brisbane in danger of dropping out of the top four, but they certainly won’t want back-to-back losses heading into the Finals Series.
Tommy Oar, Thomas Broich and Thomas Kristensen all re-join the squad after missing last weekend’s defeat at Perth as coach John Aloisi seeks to confirm his best 11 heading into the big games ahead.
By contrast, Wellington will finish seventh regardless of the result here.
And while they have nothing to play for in terms of their finishing position, playing futures are up for grabs with eight Wellington players off contract after this game.
Phoenix are unbeaten in their last three, including impressive outings against Victory and Sydney FC in the last fortnight.
Co-coaches Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre will be interviewed next week with a view to continuing at the helm; a four-match unbeaten streak to end the season – three of them against top four sides – will look a lot better on their job applications than a last-day loss.
Both games between these two sides this season have been won by the away team.
Jamie Maclaren came off the bench to grab Roar a late winner in Wellington in mid-January, while goals from Shane Smeltz and Roy Krishna saw the Phoenix hold off a fast-finishing Brisbane six weeks ago at Suncorp.
* Wellington have won three of the last six games between these teams, including a 2-1 victory when they last met.
* Brisbane have won their last two home games; the last time they won more in succession was a stretch of five straight home wins to round out the 2015/16 campaign.
* The Phoenix have won on two of their last three visits to Brisbane after having never won their in their 12 matches prior.
* Brisbane youngster Nicholas D’Agostino is the only player this season to have scored a goal without ever appearing in the starting eleven; he’s found the back of the net twice in seven games from the bench.
* Wellington Phoenix have kept eight clean sheets so far this season, the second-most of any team in the competition and just two shy of the club record set in 2009/10. Marco Rossi is the only player to have been involved in all eight of those clean sheets.
ROUTE TO GOAL
When discussing Brisbane’s firepower, conversation quickly and inevitably turns to Jamie Maclaren.
Quite simply, ‘Macca’ is on fire and has scored just three less goals than the rest of his team-mates combined this season.
Brett Holman chipped in with a goal last weekend and youngster Nick D’Agostino has looked good off the bench, but Wellington will know if they can blunt Maclaren’s effectiveness they’ll go a long way to containing their hosts.
Phoenix’s Fijian flier Roy Krishna has had an excellent season, netting 11 goals and consistently being his side’s most dangerous attacker.
Kosta Barbarouses has displayed his best form of the season in the past six weeks and Dutchman Roly Bonevacia will be keen to sign off in style, with a move away from Wellington heavily rumoured.
Meantime, veteran striker Shane Smeltz has departed for a playing contract in Indonesia, having scored three goals in nine appearances during his second stint at the club.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
The owners of Brisbane Roar have donated 1000 tickets for this weekend’s game to Logan residents affected by the floods and clean-up volunteers, following a visit to the flood-affected region by Roar CEO Mark Kingsman.
FORM LINES (last five games)
Brisbane Roar: WLWWL
Wellington Phoenix: DLWWD
Brisbane Roar 2 Wellington Phoenix 2