Tonight the Brisbane Roar come to Worker’s Stadium and we had the chance to virtually sit down with Joe of The Roar Review, the unofficial Roar blog. We’ve also had the chance to sit down with a couple of Roar fans in person and a degree of pessimism pervades their thinking before the match tonight (though that might change if Reinaldo’s in the starting XI).
So here’s our introduction to the Roar before the important match tonight. With FC Tokyo and Ulsan Hyundai battling to a stalemate this afternoon, three points are all the more crucial for Guoan tonight.
: How are Brisbane currently doing in the A-League?
Joe: Here in Australia our league is coming to its conclusion in comparison to the majority of Asian leagues which are just kicking off. Going into the final round of the regular season, Brisbane is currently 2 points behind league leaders Central Coast and assured of finishing in the top 2. Our most recent result was a 2-1 victory away to the Newcastle Jets on Saturday evening Australian time.
: What are the expectations for Brisbane going into the ACL
Joe: Australian clubs haven’t done all that well in the Champions League since being admitted to the competition with only Adelaide in 2008 making an impression by making the final. However there is a real expectation that Brisbane would be able to make a serious impression on the continental competition because of their style of play.
: Can you give any introduction about the team? How would you describe them to someone who knows nothing about Australian Football?
Joe: Well the 1st thing I would say about Brisbane Roar is that in many aspects they are un-Australian. Typically Australian clubs rely on their physical advantage in Asian competitions but with Brisbane they will look to play football. Coach Postecoglou has brought in a short passing, possession style game and they have been extremely successful with it here in Australia and will try and replicate that in Asia.
Brisbane play their home matches at Suncorp Stadium which is a 52,500 seat stadium about 2km outside of the Brisbane CBD and the stadium is surrounded by the Caxton St. precinct which has many bars and clubs and is always a hive of activity on match days. Crowds probably aren’t as big as what you normally see in China with Brisbane games averaging around 12,000 this past season.
: What is their strongest point/who is their star players(s)?
Joe: The strongest point for Brisbane is defiantly their system of play, it’s a philosophy that the coach has instilled and something that won’t change, regardless of how the match is going. In terms of key players there’s a couple starting with holding midfielder Erik Paartalu. Paartalu has spent time in Scotland and he’s the player through which the play starts.
The key to the attack is German import Thomas Broich, who typically plays out on the left side of the front 3. Broich is a former u/21 international with extensive Bundesliga experience and is an extremely creative player who likes to take defenders on. The 3rd key player is Albanian striker Besart Berisha who has scored an A-League record 19 goals this season and is extremely dangerous inside the penalty area.
: What weaknesses does the team have:
Joe: The fullbacks (Ivan Franjic and Shane Stefanutto) tend to push forward when Brisbane have possession so teams who can win the ball and launch quick counter attacks have had success against the Roar this season. Stefanutto is getting a little older now and many fans consider him to be the weakest link in the squad. There are no real injuries of note right now with only a couple of squad players missing so Brisbane is going into this match at almost full strength. They did however lose influential captain and Socceroo Matt McKay to Glasgow Rangers in the off-season which was big blow to the midfield.
: If you were to make a prediction, how do you think they’ll do in the ACL this year?
Joe: I would like to think that Brisbane is capable of making it out of the group stage, and possibly to the Quarter Final stage.
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