Seven weeks is a long time in football, just ask Mike Mulvey. During the week he was sacked from Brisbane Roar sending shockwaves throughout the A-League community. The defending Premiers and Champions have barely found second gear in the 2014/15 campaign and find themselves an incredible 12 points off 4th place.
On the other side of the country Perth Glory haven’t put a foot wrong as they lead the league with six wins from their opening seven games. It’s too early to consider Perth as a lock for finals but if Kenny Lowe’s men continue to play entertaining winning football the remainder of the league we will have to consider the Glory as serious title contenders.
Last week Brisbane played well against a disappointing Victory, but a Jade North own goal sealed the clubs fifth loss of the season. Perth overcame a lackluster Wellington even finishing with 10 men after an erratic Zadkovich tackle. The finals minutes were some nervous moments for those in ‘The Shed’ but the talents of Perth shone through.
New interim coach Frans Thijssen brings a mix of experience to the club, having coached in the Netherlands, Sweden and the Middle East, but has had a significant break from the role. The long road back for the current champions will be a tough one and quality midfielder Thomas Broich will be heavily relied upon once again. Mulvey was widely criticized for his off season recruiting and the cracks are starting to appear in Brisbane. The club not only has to improve their A-League campaign, but has an Asian Champions League campaign to consider. The tactics of Thijssen are largely unknown and the next month will give a better insight of his intended playing style.
Youssef Hersi played another great game last week and continues to dictate play for the Glory. Andy Keogh found himself on the score sheet once again whilst young defender Josh Risdon is living up to his potential on the back of some great games. Nebojsa Marinkovic has gone under the radar thus far this season and is finally gaining some attention from the eastern states. Perth seems to have a great mix of youth and experience under Kenny Lowe and present a tough challenge, no matter the opposition. Perth has a full squad to choose from with the exception of Ruben Zadkovich and dressing room confidence is sky high.
Head To Head: Played 29 Brisbane Roar: 17 Draw 6 Adelaide United 6
Last Meeting: Perth Glory 3 defeated Brisbane Roar 2 at NIB Stadium on the 19/10/2014. Andy Keogh scored a hat-trick and announced himself to the A-League in just his second game for Perth.
Brisbane Roar: LWLLL Perth Glory: WWWWL
Brisbane Roar: Michael Theo (wrist – 4 weeks), Adam Sarota (knee – 1 week), George Lambadaridis (knee – 2 weeks), Jean Carlos Solorzano (shoulder – 1 week), Shane Stefanutto (groin – 6 weeks)
Perth Glory: Ruben Zadkovich (Suspended – 1 week)
Brisbane Roar: Young, Donachie, Smith, North, Bowles, McKay, Brattan, Henrique, Broich, Petratos, Brown.
Perth Glory: Vukovic, Jamieson, Djulbic, Thwaite, Risdon, Griffiths, Hersi, Marinkovic, De Silva, Keogh, Garcia
Eyes On: Andy Keogh found the back of the net three times against Brisbane in their previous meeting and could potentially do the same again. The Brisbane defense is still suspect with Stefanutto and Theo on the sidelines through injury. Young is finding his feet between the sticks but a striker of Andy Keogh’s capabilities doesn’t need a second invitation to hurt Brisbane on the scoreboard.
Prediction: Brisbane 1 Perth 2
A new coach normally brings immediate results, but this weekend will be an exception. Brisbane is a shadow of their former selves and injuries are starting to run deep throughout the weakened squad. Mike Mulvey will sit back and watch Fox Sports coverage with a little smirk this weekend when Perth leaves the field with another three points.
- Youssef Hersi has a winning ratio of 63%, winning 34 out of the 54 games he has played. #3PointsLockedIn
- Brisbane has scored 31 goals against Perth at Suncorp, its most against any club. Sydney and Central Coast are next with 25. #Leaky