Match Preview: Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers


The Wanderers take on the Roar on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Read the match preview here.

The Wanderers take on the Roar on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Read the match preview here.

Date: Saturday 27 October, 2012
Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT, 6.45pm local
Venue: Suncorp Stadium

First meeting

Past five matches:
Brisbane Roar: DWLWW
Western Sydney: LLD

The Game
The Wanderers goal-scoring drought looks unlikely to end on Saturday when they travel north to take on the reigning champions. Brisbane Roar knocked in five goals in their last home game and it could be a long night for Western Sydney if Besart Berisha and Thomas Broich fire at Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane head coach Rado Vidosic could have full-back Ivan Franjic (abdominal muscle) and James Meyer (groin) available for selection after stints out with injury, with the former the most likely to be picked if he is fit. Franjic may still be left on the bench, however, after Vidosic praised Jack Hingert’s showing at right-back in the 1-1 draw at Wellington Phoenix.

Western Sydney’s squad remains basically untroubled by injuries but Wanderers head coach Tony Popovic will still face a tough week at the selection table as he tries to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net.

The big issue

Brisbane – For all the praise the Roar received after their 5-0 thrashing of Melbourne Victory a fortnight ago, Brisbane have started their defence of the A-League championship with a full collection of results. The question remains, can the team settle quickly enough under new coach Vidosic before any title rivals streak away at the top of the A-League table?

Western Sydney – Dino Kresinger has started up front for the A-League’s new club in their first three games but Popovic needs to decide whether he will back the big Croatian striker or re-jig his front third. Kresinger clearly prefers crosses whipped into the box. So if Western Sydney are to support the 188cm forward, players such as Shannon Cole and Tarek Elrich need to start out wide for the Wanderers.

Brisbane winger Ben Halloran will be keen to break through for his maiden goal for the Roar after three impressive games so far this season.

Halloran hit the woodwork in the Roar’s opening two matches but with Henrique returning from injury last week, the 20-year-old Australian flyer should know his starting position could come under threat if he cannot score. That pressure may bring out the best in Halloran.

Brisbane Roar 2-0 Western Sydney. The Roar are the A-League’s leading goal-scorers after three rounds and Vidosic should have enough quality players at his disposal to unlock the Wanderers’ impressive back four and beat goalkeeper Ante Covic.

Although Western Sydney have looked solid in defence, Popovic cannot rely on that alone to get points in Brisbane on Saturday night. The 39-year-old head coach revealed this week he would love a lucky goal to break the drought but without improvement in the final third, regular goals will continue to elude the Wanderers and the disappointing results will keep piling up.

A loss to the title-holders would be far from disgraceful for the Wanderers but there needs to be noticeable improvement to keep Western Sydney’s fans content as they await their opening win.