Preview: Men looking for three on the spin

Ufuk Talay’s Sydney FC are in a decent run of form at the moment and will travel to Queensland on Saturday night to take on a Brisbane Roar side looking for consistency after managerial changes.

It should be an interesting encounter between the two sides with the match ups at one a piece so far this season and the Sky Blues coming off the back of two wins in a row at home.

Last weekend, the Sky Blues welcomed ladder leaders Wellington Phoenix to Allianz Stadium and put on a scintillating performance to run out 3-1 winners.

Rhyan Grant netted early and the scores remained at one until late in the game when the Kiwi’s equalised through Kosta Barbarouses. It appeared that Sydney FC’s fantastic performance would’ve been in vain, however Fabio Gomes had a brilliant impact off the bench, setting up Robert Mak for the go ahead goal, and scoring in stoppage time for the sealer.

Rhyan Grant celebrates his opener

This time around, it will be interesting to see whether Talay continues to bring Fabio off the bench and stick with Jaiden Kucharski who led the line against the Nix, after the Brazilian was sick earlier in the week and missed out on a few training sessions.

Fabio came off the bench in the Australia Cup Final against the Roar to score a brace and swing the tide of the contest into the Sky Blues’ favour, and ultimately decide where the trophy ended up, so this will be in the mind of Ufuk Talay this weekend.

The only concern for the Head Coach will be the fitness of Anthony Caceres who limped off against Wellington with an ankle injury and the attacking midfielder has been quoted as touch and go by Talay ahead of this clash. He was named in the extended squad so it appears that the injury may not be as bad as first appeared.

As for the Brisbane Roar, the last fortnight has been anything but ideal.

Their Head Coach, Ross Aloisi who had them playing a great brand of football departed the club to pursue an opportunity in China and he was replaced in the interim by Luciano Trani who was in line to lead for the rest of the season.

Things didn’t quite go to plan for Trani who was removed from his position following just one game, and he was replaced by Ben Cahn after the Roar were on the wrong end of an 8-1 hammering at the hands of Melbourne City.

That Thursday evening in Melbourne will go down as one of their worst in their history, shipping eight goals against for the first time ever and suffering their biggest ever loss. The only shining light on a bad, bad night at the office for Brisbane was a first Isuzu UTE A-League goal for Rylan Brownlie, otherwise it was slim pickings for positives.

Joe Lolley on the ball last time in Brisbane

They can look to now gather momentum with Ben Cahn in charge of an Isuzu UTE A-League side for the first time. The Englishman had spells with the Central Coast Mariners as their Academy Head Coach and A-League assistant but most recently was posted at the helm of Melbourne Knights who enjoyed a brilliant run in this season’s Australia Cup. Knights went all the way to the semi-final of the tournament where they were un-done by Brisbane Roar.

Now he takes charge of his first professional side and his opening task couldn’t be much more difficult in taking on Ufuk Talay’s Sydney FC who are coming off the back of two wins in a row at home.

In the last meeting between the two sides, with different coaches in charge for both, Brisbane ran out 3-0 winners with the Sky Blues failing to turn up that evening. They will be hoping for a much improved performance this time around.

Match Details

Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Isuzu UTE A-League Round 11
Saturday 7th January 2024
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, NSW
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEDT (6:45pm Local)
Broadcast Live: 10Bold & Paramount+
Tickets: Click Here