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Brisbane Roar, the team that are arguably on the worst form they have been on in years, come up against Sydney FC, the team that has had an excellent transfer window.
Sydney FC made good moves by signing Mitch Austin and Reza Ghoochannejhad, renewing Socceroo Rhyan Grant’s contract and getting rid of Charles Lokolingoy (who in my opinion just wasn’t good enough).
Brisbane have been on a roller-coaster in their last four games, first of all, losing five-nil to Melbourne Victory, then a one-all draw with Central Coast Mariners, then a two-all draw with Western Sydney Wanderers in a game which the Wanderers were up two-nil in the ninetieth minute, only then to have a well-crafted goal by Brisbane and then a bizarre error by Vedran Janjetović awarding Brisbane a corner which Adam Taggart finished off and their final game being the already-famous four-three loss against Adelaide United, which included three red cards and a stoppage-time winner from Adelaide, even though Brisbane Roar were up three-nil in the forty-fourth minute.
Unlike Brisbane, Sydney has had a very standard last four games, winning three of them and losing just one, which was against Melbourne Victory. Arguably they should have at least mustered a point out of that game, but in my opinion neither-the-less, it was a great effort considering that Sydney didn’t have Alex Brosque, Rhyan Grant, Jacob Tratt, Siem De Jong, Trent Buhagiar, Chris Zuvela, Jop Van Der Linden and Anthony Caceres.
Brisbane Roar predicted line-up
There’s no doubt that Brisbane Roar has had a roller-coaster of a season, but if they were to win in this game it would set a statement to both the other teams in the competition and the media, but unfortunately, all the odds are against them.
Goalkeeper Jamie Young has been such an important player, both in spirit and as a goalkeeper. With Brisbane struggling defensively this season, Young has been key as a shot-stopper. Even though the Brisbane defence has conceded thirty-eight goals this season, it could have easily been double that had Young not been in the right position at the right time.
So it is a massive loss for Brisbane that he can’t play, after making an (accidental) horror tackle on Craig Goodwin, so he is suspended for three games. It will be very hard for the Roar to adjust to not having their veteran keeper, and there is no longer someone in goal that Brisbane can always count on.
That being said, it’s a great chance for inexperienced keeper Brendan White to make a challenge for the goalkeeping spot. Dylan Wenzel-Halls had a good game, so I think that Darren Davies will want him to start again. Dane Ingham and Daniel Bowles will also not be playing due to suspension.
Predicted starting eleven
GK: Brendan White
LB: Izaack Powell
CB: Luke De Vere
CB Jacob Pepper
RB: Jack Hingert
CM: Matt Mackay
CM: Alex Lopez
RM: Eric Bauthaec
ST: Dylan Wenzel-Halls
ST: Adam Taggart
Sydney FC predicted line-up
Sydney FC will be boosted with the fact that Reza has a very good chance of making the squad this week. Last week he made the extended squad but not the cut squad, as he had only been to one training session and Steve Corica said that jetlag was an issue, so he held off on using his new start player.
Reza, nicknamed ‘Gucci’ is set to make his debut, most likely off the bench. While Sydney still wait for Siem De Jong and Anthony Caceres to return from injury, they have maintained to get back Jacob Tratt and Alex Brosque, as well as getting back Jop Van Der Linden last week, but he failed to make an appearance off the bench.
Andrew Redmayne has continued to impress, saving his third penalty of the season and becoming only the third goalkeeper to achieve that feat. Luke Ivanovic had a great thirty minutes against Melbourne City, only to be sidelined due to muscle tightness. Paulo Retre will be coming up against Daniel De Silva to see who starts at right attacking midfield for Sydney.
Personally, I would like to see De Silva get another go, but Retre had a very good game, so it is likely that he will start and we will see De Silva feature from the bench. Michael Zullo is also back from suspension, so it’s interesting to see who Steve Corica will put at centre-back. Ben Warland has been very consistent at centre-back, so he will probably continue to start until the Asian Champions League kicks off.
Sydney FC predicted starting eleven
GK: Andrew Redmayne
LB: Michael Zullo
CB: Ben Warland
CB: Alex Wilkinson
CDM: Josh Brillante
CDM: Brandon O’Neill
LAM: Milos Ninkovic
RAM: Paulo Retre
ST: Alex Brosque
ST: Adam Le Fondre
If Le Fondre can keep on scoring goals and Ninkovic can add his trademark magic then it should be Sydney to take home this game. With Jamie Young, Dane Ingham and Daniel Bowels out for Brisbane I really just can’t see them winning this game. 2-0 Sydney.