Gerard is Villarreal danger man


Towering striker Gerard Moreno looms as the danger man for Brisbane Roar when they play Spanish La Liga side Villarreal in a LFP World Challenge game at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday.

The Spaniards arrive in Brisbane this afternoon after their 3-2 win over Adelaide United on Friday where Gerard scored the winner in added-on time.

Gerard has a powerful left foot and is strong in the air. He scored seven goals in La Liga this season including a double against Malaga just a fortnight ago.

Argentine Luciano Dario Vietto was Villarreal’s leading scorer this season with 12 goals and was also on target in the Adelaide match.

Roar captain Matt McKay said his team had been working hard since a one-week break at the end of the Hyundai A-League season and were looking forward to testing themselves against the attack-minded Spaniards.

“Training has been great,” McKay said.

“We are trying to implement a couple of new things. Everyone has taken it on board and trying real hard.

“Villarreal will be a good test for us. It is a good opportunity for everyone to play against a top Spanish team and test ourselves.

“Their squad includes some good international players and it will be great to show them what Australian football is about.

“It’s also an ideal way to say thank you to our fans for their loyal support through the season.

“We’ve got nothing to lose so we’ll be attacking. It will be a great match to watch.”

The Roar will go into the game without midfielder Steven Lustica and defender Jerome Polenz.

Lustica last week had a procedure on a niggling groin strain and will not play again this season.

Polenz, who had been sidelined with a quad tear, felt a twinge in the muscle at training and has been advised to rest.

Goalkeeper Michael Theo is awaiting a clearance to resume training after having a plate removed from his wrist while defender Jade North is still recovering from a recent appendix operation.

Defenders Luke DeVere and Shane Stefanutto are back in training after overcoming late-season injuries and could see some game time against the Spaniards.

New Roar Head Coach John Aloisi will watch the game from the stands as outgoing interim coach Frans Thijssen sits on the Brisbane bench for the last time.

Tickets to Brisbane Roar versus Villarreal at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday, 3 June, start from just $16 for kids and $28 for adults (plus credit card and transaction fees). For more information or to book tickets click here.