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Brisbane Roar FC
Brisbane Roar FC
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In the ultimate round of the A-League season Brisbane Roar host Adelaide United on ANZAC Day afternoon at Suncorp Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 2pm AEST.
Adelaide are playing for fourth position and a home final in this game, while the Roar are playing for pride, respect and the opportunity to impress.
It’s been a wretched season for Brisbane. Hopes were high on the eve of the season after a run of finals seasons under John Aloisi and the addition of striker Adam Taggart in a major transfer coup.
Now as the 2018-19 season comes to a close they sit in ninth spot, neither Aloisi nor Taggart is at the club, and there looks like a major squad clear-out in the offing.
Despite their trainwreck of a season, Brisbane was in the news for “positive” reasons during the week. Liverpool (and Leeds, and Manchester City, and North Queensland, and Perth) legend Robbie Fowler was confirmed as the new manager for next season (in the worst kept secret in Australian football).
One suspects he will feature heavily in the Fox production plans for this game, sitting in the stands, critically analysing the talent he has in the squad.
Despite the tough squad building work ahead of him Fowler does have some cause to be excited. Dylan Wenzel-Halls might remind him of a less lethal or central version of himself, and many of the new players interim manager Darren Davis has brought in show promise – Daniel Leck, Zach Duncan, Izaack Powell and Nick D’Agostino to name a few.
The one Brisbane player we will be watching for the last time is Matt McKay. McKay is a Roar legend, playing a key role in their great teams under Ange Postecoglou, as well as carving out a more-than-respectable 59-game career with the Socceroos.
Indeed McKay’s success in the national team broke down a number of barriers for A-League players to step into the Socceroos set up and be more than squad players or fodder for early stage Asian qualifiers.
In his final game, with Robbie Fowler likely watching on, the Roar will have extra motivation to end the 18-19 season on high.
It’s fair to say that Adelaide United has somewhat more to play for. Sitting in fourth, they know they will be (almost certainly) be facing Wellington in an elimination final – the outstanding question is where? Adelaide are a point clear of Wellington, so a win in Brisbane would sew up a home final. A loss or a draw gives Wellington the power to leapfrog into fourth with in a win in Perth.
They’re in excellent form too. A well-earned 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory last week forwarded their finals credentials, with the goal coming from real finals wildcard George Blackwood.
They also welcome back gadget man forward Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and, excitingly, import striker Baba Diawara from a long injury layoff.
Expect a 75th-minute substitution with Blackwood to get Diawara minutes in this game.
Adelaide have too much to play for – and too much experience in their squad – to drop points here.
There will be a lot of emotions running through the Roar players, not least of all Matt McKay, but ultimately Brisbane is a poor team with next to no pace in their midfield.
If Adelaide dial up their press with Halloran, Mileusnic, Blackwood and Goodwin early on, Brisbane might find it impossible to play out of their half.
Adelaide typically aren’t a high-scoring team – but they could easily be today.
Brisbane Road 0 – Adelaide United 2