Ange Postecoglou returns to Suncorp Stadium with Melbourne Victory for the second time, and will be after a far better result than the thumping the Roar handed out in Week 1
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Hingert, Smith, Donachie, Stefanutto
Franjic, Brattan, Lustica, BroichNijland, Berisha
Galloway, Mullen, Leijer, Traore
Celeski, Milligan, BroxhamRojas, Thompson, Pain
Ange Postecoglou was less than impressed with the treatment he was dished out upon his return to Suncorp on the opening day of the season.
Goaded by the fans that rode the wave with him to back-to-back titles, an embarrassing 5-0 defeat did little to ease Postecoglou's woes.
What that match did highlight was that the transition at Victory may not be as smooth as first thought for the coach.
The wait was worth it, however, with Victory playing some breathtaking football this season, albeit in patches.
Last Sunday's emphatic 5-0 defeat of a youthful Newcastle side arrested a three-game losing streak. And, as bad as Victory were a week earlier in a 6-2 loss to Central Coast, Postecoglou will take great confidence knowing when they turn it on, they are very difficult to contain.
In a final series, the points gap to the Mariners and Wanderers will pale into insignificance if Victory can reproduce that sort of form every match.
Marquee man Marcos Flores will miss one more week, while Nick Ansell is also eyeing a return.
Mike Mulvey's Roar have become a tough nut to crack in recent weeks and were excellent last Saturday as they defeated Adelaide 1-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium. The score line did not tell the true tale, with Reds shot-stopper Eugene Galekovic the only person preventing a thrashing.
Roar's defence has been particularly good, with the Adelaide game marking a fourth-consecutive clean sheet, including an AFC Champions League 0-0 draw against Buriram United [eventually losing on penalties].
Midfielder Massimo Murdocca is back from injury for Mulvey, who has also promoted defender Matt Jurman and midfielder George Lambadaridis for his extended squad.
Matches between these sides are rarely boring, and the two clashes this season were no exception.
Roar turned on the style in Week 2 to send a punishing message to their departed coach.
In December, Victory were an entirely different proposition when Brisbane came to town.
After a breathless first half, Victory somehow found themselves a goal down despite playing some of their best football all season.
But Mark Milligan rescued a point and the fans were already waiting for the third instalment.
Goals loom again for Saturday's clash with Archie Thompson back for Victory and Marco Rojas in scintillating form, while Roar possess plenty of attacking clout of their own in Besart Berisha, Thomas Broich and Stefan Nijland.