Championship race is wide open: Borrello


Brisbane Roar winger Brandon Borrello says the battle for the Hyundai A-League Championship is wide open as the competition enters its final phase.

The Roar have five fixtures remaining and will be looking to secure a top-four finish which would see the side host a Final at Suncorp Stadium.

The Premiers Plate may be out of reach but the unique format of the Hyundai A-League means that the ultimate prize is still up for grabs.

“It’s been a good season. We’ve faced quite a bit of adversity but this team has always battled through the worst of the worst,” Borrello said.

“It’s unfortunate that we can’t win the premiers plate but anyone in the finals can win the championship. Especially with the side we have, we know that we can beat anyone on our day.”

The Roar travel to Adelaide this weekend for their penultimate away fixture of the 2016-17 regular season to face the Reds who despite having an indifferent campaign, remain the defending champions.

Brisbane will take confidence into the clash having thwarted the Reds 4-0 at home earlier in the season as well as returning from Coopers Stadium with a 1-1 draw.

The Roar also haven’t suffered a loss in the Hyundai A-League on the road since mid-January, a streak that has spanned four matches.

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Former Adelaide-boy Borrello is looking forward to playing infront of friends and family and backs the side to continue their impressive away form.

“There’s never enough tickets to give around to my family but I love when I get the chance to play infront of them. When they get the chance to come watch me, they really enjoy it,” he said.

“You can never underestimate Adelaide [United]. Although it hasn’t been their season, they definitely won’t throw in the towel and it’s always a good game when we play them.”

“We have had a good run of games on the road and this is just another chance to show that we’re a side that competes home and away.”

The 22-year-old winger was recently named as the January nominee for NAB Young Footballer of the Year, his third nomination for the award. The focus is to now continue and build momentum heading into the pointy end of the season.

“It was an up-and-down start but I’m backing up performances now and it’s all about keeping that form going,” he said.

“It helps the team if everyone is playing well at this time of the season.”

Borrello 16x9

Match details & squads

Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Round 23, Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar, Sunday, 19 March 2017. Coopers Stadium, Adelaide. Kick-off 4pm (QLD time)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 7.Jae-sung KIM, 9.Baba DIAWARA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 13.Marc MARINO, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 30.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 92.Eli BABALJ **two to be omitted**

Ins: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (returns from injury), 13.Marc MARINO (promoted), 14.George MELLS (promoted), 15.Ben WARLAND (promoted), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC (promoted)

Outs: 2.Michael MARRONE (not selected), 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (not selected), 20.John HALL (gk) (not selected) Unavailable: 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA (hip – 3 weeks), 8.Isaìas (knee – indefinite), 22.Ryan KITTO (hamstring – 2 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season)

Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.Manuel ARANA, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie Young (gk), 25.Kye ROWLES, 26.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Joe CALETTI, 46.Cameron CRESTANI **two to be omitted**

Ins: 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN (promoted), 20.Shannon BRADY (promoted), 25.Kye ROWLES (promoted), 28.Brandon BORRELLO (promoted)

Outs: 11.Tommy OAR (hamstring – 3 weeks), 22.Thomas BROICH (ankle – 1 week)

Unavailable: 3.Luke DEVERE (calf – 1-2 weeks), 4.Daniel BOWLES (knee – season), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (ankle – 3 weeks)

Referee: Stephen Lucas; Assistant Referee 1: Paul Cetrangolo; Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero; Fourth Official: Rick Schneider