Melbourne City will be looking to put last week’s disappointing result behind us when we travel to Brisbane to face the Roar on Saturday evening.
On the road for the second consecutive week, Aurelio Vidmar will welcome back some key members of his squad as we fight it out for an important three points.
Here are a few of the key talking points ahead of Saturday!
A new midfield mix
A red card to Tolgay Arslan last week means that for only the second time in all competitions this season, we’ll be without our midfield maestro.
Only Jamie Young in goal has appeared in more fixtures, leaving Vidmar with a big hole to plug in midfield and a new three required for the first time this season.
Terry Antonis – voted by fans as our January Player of the Month – has been solid in the defensive midfield role while Steven Ugarkovic has started back-to-back fixtures.
Jimmy Jeggo made his Club debut last weekend and according to Vidmar, has settled in well and will be in the mix for a start this week.
There will be plenty of attention on the attacking midfield role vacated by Arslan though, with a few possible contenders to step in.
Perhaps the most likely is Ale Lopane, the 19-year-old having started a handful of games already in midfield this season.
The other two standout options are Marco Tilio slotting straight into the XI, or Mathew Leckie being used in that role as we saw a little of in the back end of last season.
Both have their question marks though, given Tilio has only been in training with the team for a week and Leckie has only just returned from a hamstring injury.
One thing is for sure – all eyes will be on the teamsheet an hour before kick-off on Saturday evening.
A pair of other handy inclusions
Tilio wasn’t the only big name to be added to the squad this week, both Marin Jakolis (hamstring) and Samuel Souprayen (groin) set to return from injury.
Speaking with media on Friday morning, Vidmar confirmed the trio were all set to travel to Brisbane.
City fans will all be excited to see the return of Tilio, while Jakolis and Souprayen were both in some strong form prior to copping their respective injuries.
Although it may be unlikely for them all to start – particularly Jakolis who has been out for over a month – Vidmar will certainly have plenty of quality to call on from his bench.
Steadying the ship
After a good run of form to end 2023, it’s been a rocky few weeks with three defeats (all away) in our last four games since we opened the year with a win against Western United.
One of those wins towards the end of last year was of course a Club record 8-1 win over Brisbane, which the team will take plenty of confidence out of heading into this Saturday.
Things haven’t gotten any better for Brisbane since that day, having won just one of their last six encounters.
Most recently though they fought hard to secure a draw against ladder leaders Wellington, Corey Brown popping up in the 94th minute to make it 1-1 and secure a point.
A-League Men: Round 16
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City FC
Saturday 10 February, 5:00pm
Live on Paramount+