Heart tumbled 2-0 against Roar at Suncorp Stadium last season. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au
Two weeks in to the season Brisbane Roar was the only team with two wins to its credit. That record came to a halt at Etihad Stadium last week when Melbourne Victory sent Ange Postecoglou out on a winning note with James Troisi’s brilliant effort the only goal of the game.
Roar hosts the Heart side of Melbourne on Sunday, but even this early in the season injuries are starting to take their toll on Mike Mulvey’s outfit. Striker Besart Berisha missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury and he is set to sit on the sidelines for at least another week, while Irishman Liam Miller has been pencilled out for a month with a calf problem. Shane Stefanutto also trudged off from training midweek with a hamstring issue. With Kofi Danning out until at least December and George Lambadaridis gone for the season, Brisbane’s playing ranks are starting to look a little thin, especially given Roar has just 20 men on its list this season instead of the maximum of 23.
Berisha scored twice in the 3-2 loss to Heart last time the teams met, so he will be sorely missed. Heart has had its injury issues, too, with marquee man Harry Kewell missing the past two games due to whiplash, although he could be back on Sunday. Former Socceroo defender Patrick Kisnorbo is also out for three weeks after he was forced off in the 1-0 loss to Glory in Perth last Sunday with a knee ligament problem.
The defeat in the west should have come as no surprise given Heart’s awful away form. It hasn’t won outside of Victoria since December 2011. Last season it won one away match – against crosstown rival Victory in the opening game of the campaign – and it mustered just one other point, when it held Sydney FC to a scoreless draw in early December. The red and whites won both matches against Brisbane in Melbourne, but Roar easily accounted for them 2-0 at Suncorp Stadium in the second last week of the home and away season.
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