Brisbane wary of derby danger

While it may be first versus last tomorrow night at Suncorp Stadium Brisbane Roar won’t be taking any chances against a quick, youthful North Queensland Fury outfit with coach Ange Postecoglou naming the clash a “danger game” for his side.

While it may be first versus last tomorrow night at Suncorp Stadium Brisbane Roar won-t be taking any chances against a quick, youthful North Queensland Fury outfit with coach Ange Postecoglou naming the clash a “danger game” for his side.

Brisbane have never tasted defeat against their northern rivals in three meetings but Postecoglou expects the Franz Straka-coached team to be just as quick and mobile on the field as his league-leading squad.

“They-ve got plenty of youth and enthusiasm so we expect them to be running around a fair bit and they-re very well rested,” he said.

“From that point of view, I think we-ve caught out quite a few teams this year with our mobility and I think if there is one team that can match us in that area it will be North Queensland.

“It is a danger game and I don-t think ladder positions really mean anything from now until the end of the season particularly with the top six nowhere near settled.

“It-s a big one for us, but we-re at home and we-ve been good at home and we want to continue that.”

Shane Stefanutto will miss out on the chance to take on his former club after aggravating his troublesome hamstring, Brisbane will welcome Matt McKay back into the starting eleven after the midfielder missed the 1-1 draw against Newcastle Jets on Qantas Socceroos duty.

Despite the minor personnel changes, which Postecoglou has been forced into by the busy schedule, the Brisbane mentor was impressed with the reaction of his players and said he had the confidence in them to continue performing well as the season progressed.

“It-s a tough little period we-re in but we knew that was coming so they-re responding well so far,” he said.

“Once we get over this week, we-ve got a pretty decent run til the end of year so it-s really important that we keep working hard and stay focused on what-s coming up.

“This period is improving us in terms of our self belief and our character and I think that we-re showing that in every game we-re going to play it out until the last minute.

“I guess whoever the opponent is, they can-t afford to relax against us.”

Saturday night-s clash is Brisbane-s first home game since their emphatic 4-0 victory over Adelaide United two weeks ago and Postecoglou backed the Suncorp Stadium crowd to really make the team feel welcome after two hard games on the road.

“Our supporters are really getting into it as well and adding a fantastic atmosphere,” he said.

“It-s always good for the players to feel that home support.

“We-re looking to increase our crowds every week and I think we-re doing it the right way – there are no gimmicks, there are not too many frills, it-s just good football and players playing with a passion and the crowd appreciates it.”

With the club joining forces with the National Breast Cancer Foundation tomorrow to raise funds and awareness for the cause, Roar goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos said the partnership brought added meaning to an already important game.

“It-s to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and to raise awareness, more importantly,” he said.

“My fiancé-s mother had breast cancer, she-s a survivor and my mum passed away from cancer, although not breast cancer, so it-s close to my heart.

“If we can raise any money for this great charity, hopefully they can find a cure down the track and raise more awareness because it-s important for all females to get checked out early and hopefully prevent it rather than cure it.

“I-ll be wearing a pink goalkeeper top and these pink flashy boots – it-s all for a good cause so we-re looking forward to it.”

Brisbane Roar vs. North Queensland Fury
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Local kick-off: 8:15pm (9.15pm AEDT)
Alan Milliner
Assistant referees: Denis Silk and Ashley Beecham
Fourth official: David Walsh

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD & Sky Sport 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is Zinc 100.7 (Townsville). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 11. REINALDO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 15. Matt McKAY, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK
*three to be omitted*

In: Matt MUNDY (promoted), Luke BRATTAN (promoted), Matt McKAY (returns from international duty)

Out: Shane STEFANUTTO (Hamstring)

Unavailable: HENRIQUE (broken arm – indefinite)

North Queensland Fury squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2. Jack HINGERT, 3. Brad McDONALD, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 7. Gareth EDDS, 8. Adam CASEY, 10. Dyron DAAL, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS, 13. Andre KILIAN, 15. Chris PAYNE, 16. Simon STOREY, 17. Osama MALIK, 18. Brett STUDMAN, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO, 22. Lorenzo SIPI, 28. Sebastian USAI (gk)
*four to be omitted*

In: Jack HINGERT (promoted), Adam CASEY (promoted), Andre KILIAN (promoted), Simon STOREY (promoted)

Out: Chris GROSSMAN (knee – 6 weeks)

Unavailable: Eric Akoto (knee – 6 weeks), Matthew HAM (knee – out for the season)

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 3): Brisbane Roar wins 1, North Queensland Fury wins 0 (2 draws)

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