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Smeltz out but Porter back for Gold Coast

Gold Coast will be without Shane Smeltz, who is suspended following last week's red card, but welcome back Joel Porter to spearhead their attack. Porter has missed the last two matches with a calf injury and is a certain starter providing he completes today's training session without any issues.

Who will partner Porter in attack remains undecided though, with Bleiberg considering his options. Youth Team prospect Golgol Mebrahtu is again in the frame after making his starting debut last week, as is Brazilian striker Milson.

But Bleiberg has another possible ace up his sleeve following the return to full fitness of highly prized 19-year-old utility player, James Brown, who suffered a broken leg in pre-season.

Brown gave an outstanding performance for the Youth Team last week and is very much in Bleiberg's plans.

"Joel has looked good all week and barring any problems in our last training session he will start," said the United Head Coach.

He continued: "The question is who will join him up front and we have a few candidates. Golgol will have learned from his game and a bit so far and will be better equipped, Milson is experienced and can do the job, but we also have James Brown back in contention now that he has recovered from his injury.

"James hasn't played in the senior team yet, but he is a very promising youngster and can play anywhere on the field.

"When I was putting this squad together James was selected with a view to being a first eleven player. Unfortunately for him he suffered that horrific injury and since then he has been recovering.

"I am very much in favour of utility players because they give you the freedom to change tactics without changing personnel, which can be a big advantage.

"Browny is one of those guys; he can play in a variety of positions from right full-back to left winger.

"He has missed a bit of football over the last few months but he is ready to start his season now and hopefully he can do well - he deserves it.

"He has suffered quite a few injuries in his short career and I think he has learned to cope with it and is very mentally strong."

Brazilian anchorman, Robson, is rated as a 50/50 chance of playing but will not be risked if there are any doubts over his fitness and may be given another week to fully recover from his knee injury.

Also absent with a hip injury is midfield dynamo Zenon Caravella and speedy striker Tahj Minniecon, who is away with the Australian Under 20 squad.

Jess Vanstrattan will continue in goal with Scott Higgins ruled out due to a shoulder injury, but new injury replacement signing, Mark Byrnes, is unlikely to figure in the starting side.

Also absent with a hip injury is midfield dynamo Zenon Caravella and speedy striker Tahj Minniecon, who is away with the Australian Under 20 squad.

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