Neither team would’ve expected to enter this match winless but that’s the uncertainty of football. Defending champions Brisbane will be hoping to find some form at home when they host a City team now without Spaniard David Villa.
Both teams are currently sitting outside the top six and are already 8 or more points behind league leaders Victory, Sydney and Adeaide. Whilst this isn’t a reason to hit the panic button just yet, neither team will want to leave Suncorp without three points.
Last week City were disappointing at home against Adelaide last week and will be looking for an improvement this week. John Van’t Schip will be again reliant on his midfield and be hoping Aaron Mooy will be buoyed by his midweek Socceroos call up. Eric Paartalu is returning to Suncorp and will face a number of former teammates. Paartalu is yet to assert his authority on his return to the league, something City desperately require.
Thomas Broich would’ve been resting at home, enjoying his week off and recovering from a minor injury he is carrying. The midfield maestro will be looking to get their championship defence back on track. New striker Mensur Kurtishi is starting to find his way in the league attempting to replace the big shoes left by Besart Berisha. Matt McKay returns after his brain fade with Ben Williams. Interestingly Ben Williams is absent from this round of matches to cancel out any reunion plans with McKay. The midfielder will be keen to atone from his out of character behaviour that lead to the suspension and could be in for a great game.
Brisbane will be looking to take advantage of the defensive frailties of Melbourne City who have conceded 7 goals in their last two games. Jason Hoffman and Ben Garrucio will need to be mindful of Roar attacking the flanks like Adelaide did last week. The defensive positioning of City has been questionable, something Mulvey will be fully aware of.
Eyes On… Damien Duff has steadily gone about his business at City but has largely been unnoticed with the attention focussed on Villa. Still without international marquee Robert Koren through injury much of the opposition scouting will be focussed on the highly talented player. An inch perfect cross to Patrick Kisnorbo from a corner in the early stages of last weeks game set City on the right path, but ultimately the Adelaide team were too good. Duff will be reliant on Aaron Mooy to link any creative play, particually now Massimo Murdocca will be missing through injury. If City are to get anything out of this match Damien Duff is the key.
Head to Head:
Played: 12 Brisbane: 6 Draws: 2 Melbourne City: 2
Last time they met:
28/03/2014 – Brisbane Roar 2 defeated Melbourne City 1 at Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane: LLL Melbourne City: DDLL
Brisbane: All players are available for selection, Liam Miller was released during the week.
Melbourne City: Massimo Murdocca (groin – 3 weeks), Jonathan Germano (hamstrings 2-4 weeks), Robert Koren (calf 3-5 weeks), Josh Kennedy (In Japan – 7 weeks), David Villa has left for New York City (Start spreading the news).
Brisbane: Young, Steffanutto, Smith, North, Donachie, McKay, Brattan, Henrique, Broich, Kurtishi, Pertatos
Melbourne City: Redmayne, Hoffman, Kisnorbo, Wielaert, Garrucio, Paartalu, Brown, Mooy, Duff, Ramsay, Williams,
Brisbane at home is a daunting prospect, even when the team has languishing near the bottom of the table. City will be looking for a dramatic improvement from their first month but will be once again lacking both home grown and international marquees. Brisbane should be too strong at home.
- The slippery fish’ Henrique plays his 100th game on Saturday night, he has played 7 games against City resulting in four goals.
- Both teams have lost to Adelaide 2-1 at home this season, Bruce Djite scoring in both games.
This game will be on both SBS and Fox Sports after the FFA announced Saturday night games will be telecast in both Round Five and Six.