Ange Postecoglou is searching for his first win against former club Brisbane. Image courtesy of Joe Castro/AAP
How things have changed since Victory and Roar first met this season in round 2. Brisbane sent former coach Ange Postecoglou home with his tail between his legs after the home side dished out a 5-0 thumping at Suncorp Stadium. It was Victory’s second loss on the trot to start the season, but since then, Postecoglou’s side has collected 16 out of a possible 24 points.
It’s a different story for Roar manager Rado Vidosic and his two-time defending champion outfit. Brisbane sits in 9th spot on the table, thanks mainly to its abysmal away record which has seen them pick up just a solitary point on the road from five starts. Last weekend, for the second away game in a row, Roar surrendered the three points to a late goal when Shinji Ono converted from the penalty spot to give Western Sydney a 1-0 home win. Throw in Tomas Rogic’s 81st minute winner for the Mariners three weeks back, as well as Billy Mehmet’s last-gasp sealer for Perth in round one, and it seems as though Brisbane is developing a bad habit of not playing out the full 90 minutes.
Roar should have defensive stalwarts Ivan Franjic and skipper Matt Smith back on deck following the East Asian Cup qualifiers, and they’ll need all the cattle they can muster at the back against a Victory side that has had no trouble finding the back of the net this season. Since the start of November when Melbourne went on a five-game unbeaten run, Victory has averaged over two goals per game. But after keeping consecutive clean sheets against Western Sydney and Perth, Victory’s defensive frailties came to the surface again last week when they were demolished 4-2 by Adelaide.
If Victory maintains its hot goalscoring form, then Brisbane might find it hard to keep up. Roar has scored just three goals in five away matches this campaign, conceding nine in the process. The over 2.5 goals has been covered in eight out of Melbourne’s ten matches this season. Young forward Andrew Nabbout has been one of the finds of the season netting four goals in his first seven games, while star striker Archie Thompson will lead the forward line after returning from Socceroos duty.
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