Postecoglou Faces Tough Homecoming

Image courtesy of abc.net.au
Postecoglou led Brisbane Roar to two A-League titles. Image courtesy of abc.net.au
Ange Postecoglou returns to Suncorp Stadium for the first time since leading Brisbane Roar  to a second straight A-League title when he brings his new club Melbourne Victory  to the Queensland capital on Saturday night. He is sure to get a hostile reception from the passionate home crowd but will be more concerned by what happens on the pitch as he goes in search of a first win after losing the Melbourne derby 2-1  last week.

Brisbane also opened their title defence with a defeat on the opening weekend, going down 1-0  in Perth thanks to a late Billy Mehmet header. They will be strengthened this week by the return of fullback Ivan Franji, while Massimo Murdocca will press for selection in the starting XI after coming on as a second half substitute at Patersons Stadium. Brazilian Henrique is likely to miss out again as he continues to recover from a heel injury that also kept him out of the season opener. Besart Berisha  will be looking for his first goal of the new campaign after finishing last season with the most in the League.

Although they don’t have any major injury concerns going into the match, Postecoglou will be without several key players. Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan are on duty with the Socceroos, who face Iraq in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, while Marco Rojas is preparing for New Zealand’s clash with Tahiti. Danny Allsopp  or Theo Markelis  could lead the line in the absence of Thompson and Flores.

Melbourne Victory has had the better of the meetings between these sides winning 10 of the 21 matches between the pair, with Brisbane successful on seven occasions, while four have ended in a draw . The most recent clash between the sides, at Suncorp Stadium on February 18, ended in a 3-2  win for the home side with Besart Berisha scoring a brace.

If this fixture wasn’t significant enough already with Ange Postecoglou returning to face the side he led to two straight titles, it is even more important now after both sides lost on the opening weekend of the new campaign. No team has ever won the Premiership or been crowned Champions after losing their first two matches of the season.

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