The league leaders have a great chance to extend their lead at the top of the table when they host the 10th-placed team tonight.
Brisbane Roar have notched up a 19-game unbeaten streak as they continue to fire towards the Premier’s Plate and will be firm favourites to notch up yet another victory when the Perth Glory come to town.
Although Ian Ferguson’s men have improved out of sight in recent weeks, I doubt they are good enough to topple the Roar who will be boosted by the return of star midfielder Thomas Broich to the starting line-up.
The German brings plenty of creativity to a side already rich in creative players and he will offset the loss of skipper Matt McKay who is away at the Asian Cup with the Socceroos.
In the Glory camp, Naum Sekulovski exits the side with a knee injury which is a blow to the defence and a boost for the Roar.
The Roar have dominated the Glory since the league’s inception, winning 11 of 17, showing that everything is pointing to a win for the home side and I expect them to record a 15th victory of the campaign so far and push further away from their rivals.
Verdict: Roar 2-0
Brisbane Roar vs. Perth Glory
Date: Friday, 7 January 2010
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Local kick-off: 7:30pm (8.30pm AEDT)
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 17): Brisbane Roar wins 11, Perth Glory wins 3 (3 draws)
Match fact: Having not lost any of their previous 19 Hyundai A-League matches, the Brisbane Roar are edging closer to the Australian national league record of longest undefeated streak, set by APIA Leichhardt in the NSL who went for 22 league matches in a row without defeat from 1986 to 1987.
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 10. HENRIQUE, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK *one to be omitted*
In: Thomas BROICH (returns from injury)
Unavailable: Ivan FRANJIC (quad – 1 week), Matt McKAY (international duty – 4 weeks)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Josh MITCHELL, 3.Jamie COYNE, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 9.Robbie FOWLER, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Tommy AMPHLETT, 14.Steven McGARRY, 15.Howard FONDYKE, 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 20.Alex Pearson (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 22.Anthony SKORICH, 24.Josh RISDON *one to be omitted*
In: Anthony SKORICH (promoted), Josh RISDON (promoted)
Out: Naum SEKULOVSKI (knee)
Unavailable: Chris COYNE (achilles – 1 week), Victor SIKORA (hip – season), Naum SEKULOVSKI (knee – 1 week)