Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Brisbane Roar FC
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Brisbane Roar FC
An uninspiring game at Bankwest Stadium ended goalless despite the very persistent efforts of Brisbane Roar.
The Western Sydney Wanderers looked spent after their exciting victory over Sydney FC last weekend. Their play lacked rhythm and inventiveness and led to Brisbane dominating proceedings.
They had 18 shots to Western Sydney’s 10, they had 57 per cent of possession.
Robbie Fowler wanted a reaction after last weekend’s disappointing home loss to Melbourne Victory and he certainly got it, at least in terms of performance if not the final result.
Roy O’Donovan had several good chances to score but found an equal opponent in Daniel Lopar, Western Sydney’s excellent Swiss goalkeeper.
Perhaps the signing of the A-League season so far, Lopar has saved his team in consecutive games and is largely the reason Western Sydney find themselves top of the table.
His performance wasn’t without fault though: he pushed or palmed a number of shots and crosses into dangerous areas but Brisbane just couldn’t capitalise on the follow-up.
Their playmaker Jay O’Shea was by far the man of the match. His creativity and skill on the ball was superior to anyone else and he will count himself unlucky to be on the losing side tonight.
Fowler has built a strong defence and they rarely looked threatened again here, despite their reputable opponents.
The Englishman will just be questioning what has to be done for Brisbane to find that clinical final touch to find three points.
O’Donovan’s confidence, after missing key chances both here and previously against Melbourne Victory, will be low and perhaps a change of personnel up front would be wise going into the next game.
Markus Babbel will of course be pleased to still see his side top of the table but there has to be a huge improvement in their overall play.
Their passing rarely broke the lines and players were too often hesitant in their decision making. Their attacking was toothless and underwhelming.
New arrival Nicolai Muller did spark things for Western Sydney after coming off the bench in the second half, however, and his experience and skill will be invaluable in the coming months.
The little winger’s movement was excellent and led to him finding space for dangerous crosses numerous times. If his fitness is good enough, the German will be likely to start in the next fixture.
Brisbane next travel to face Adelaide United, the team directly above them in the table by one point and that game – on paper – appears promising for Fowler’s men.
Western Sydney, meanwhile, are away to new boys Western United in what could be a tough challenge.
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Brisbane Roar 0
Western Sydney Wanderers will be looking to continue their winning run against the struggling Brisbane Roar. Join The Roar for live scores and all the action on Saturday from 5pm AEDT.
For once it’s a good time to be a Western Sydney supporter. The new Bankwest Stadium was suitably rocking under a wonderful atmosphere during the Sydney derby win last weekend and the supporters will understandably be buoyed by that key victory.
After the disappointment of last season, there is clear goodwill for Markus Babbel and his men after their surprising unbeaten start to the campaign.
They aren’t completely without fault though: Western Sydney only saw a paltry 32 per cent of the ball last weekend and somehow survived their rival’s barrage of 21 shots so there’s definitely room for improvement in their performance levels. They won’t always be so lucky to sneak away with such a narrow win.
Travelling to face the only team with a 100 per cent record is not what Robbie Fowler would have wanted for his Brisbane Roar side.
They’re still looking for their first win after an opening draw against Perth Glory and a slight loss to Melbourne Victory last weekend at home.
Fowler has built a side that is difficult to break down defensively but they are looking toothless in front of goal.
Considering Fowler was one of the English Premier League’s sharpest finishers in his prime, surely an improvement from his time on the training pitch with his new forwards will soon follow.
It will have to if Brisbane aren’t to lose pace with the top six positions.
Babbel’s defensive unit is mostly new arrivals so their resoluteness has to be commended. Perhaps goalkeeper Daniel Lopar will prove to be the shrewdest signing if he continues his form.
The Swiss international has over a decade of experience playing in his home country’s top league and has seemingly taken to his new surroundings well.
The blow of losing playmaker Radoslaw Majewski to injury was softened by the surprising but welcomed arrival from Germany of Nicolai Muller.
While not boasting the star appeal of a Del Piero, Muller was a solid attacking player for several years in the tough Bundesliga and, still only 32, will certainly have something left to offer his countryman Babbel.
Look to him to make an impact from the bench.
Western Sydney Wanderers predicted XI
GK: Daniel Lopar
LB: Daniel Wilmering
CB: Matthew Jurman
CB: Dylan McGowan
RB: Daniel Georgievski
CM: Nick Sullivan
CDM: Pirmin Schwegler
CM: Keanu Baccus
LW: Mitchell Duke
ST: Alex Meier
RW: Mohamed Adam
Roy O’Donovan may have missed an excellent chance to equalise but he was defended admirably by his manager after the game, the striker’s union on show.
The Irishman has proven to be a very capable goalscorer in the A-League over the past few seasons and trust should be placed him to do so again for Brisbane.
Fowler seems unlikely to spring a surprise and recall the young Australian Dylan Wenzel-Halls to the starting eleven.
A rare note of positivity during the last campaign, perhaps his youthful exuberance and work rate are just what is required to unsettle Western Sydney from the bench.
Brisbane Roar predicted XI
GK: Max Crocombe
LB: Connor O’Toole
CB: Tom Aldred
CB: Macaulay Gillesphey
RB: Scott Neville
CM: Aiden O’Neill
CDM: Jake McGing
CM: Stefan Mauk
LW: Jay O’Shea
ST: Roy O’Donovan
RW: Brad Inman
It will be hard for even the most optimistic of Brisbane supporters to be envisioning a win in this fixture.
Babbel has his side flying and Western Sydney also boasts a strong recent record against their opponents, not losing to Brisbane in their last five meetings.
Fowler will be hoping for a point but I see nothing other than a Western Sydney home win.
Join The Roar for live scores and all the action on Saturday from 5pm AEDT.