Preview: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory

This match looms as a crucial outing for both Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory, though for very different reasons.

The Roar sit two points off fourth-placed Melbourne City, but a full five points off third. Lose this one and they could potentially be way off the pace come the conclusion of the round.

The Roar’s results have been a real mixed bag of late. A scratchy 3-2 win over Adelaide United was followed by a club record 5-1 defeat against Canberra United. On the bright side, their 1-0 loss against Sydney just before Christmas displayed the kind of fight that was perhaps missing against Canberra.

Melbourne’s finals hopes are not quite yet mathematically over. But at least a win here would be the chance to kick-start their campaign, something they have threatened to do on a few occasions.

The Victory have struggled for momentum this season. However, their hugely unlucky 2-1 midweek home loss to high-flying Canberra United is evidence of a team on the up. The combination play between striker Natasha Dowie and midfielder Christine Nairn was a real highlight, and will again be a key element in Brisbane.

Remarkably, the Roar have only lost twice in 15 outings against Victory. The first time was perhaps the most memorable encounter between the two clubs – the 2014 Grand Final. The second was a 2-1 win for Victory two seasons ago. They have never yet won in Brisbane.

The FFA rescheduled the kick-off of the match from 3:00pm to 4:00pm local based on anticipated weather conditions.

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Sunday 1 January 2017
Venue: A.J. Kelly Field
Kick-Off: 4:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT)) (Postponed one hour from original scheduled time)

Referee: Lara Lee
Assistant Referee 1: Renae Coghill
Assistant Referee 2: Danielle Potticary
Fourth Official: Casey Reibelt

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Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk), 2.Nina FRAUSING-PEDERSEN, 3.Amy CHAPMAN, 4.Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5.Brooke SPENCE, 6.Angela BEARD, 7.Sunny FRANCO, 8.Kaitlyn TORPEY, 9.Cortnee VINE, 10.Katrina GORRY, 11.Maili FORBES, 12.Allira TOBY, 13.Tameka BUTT, 14.Summer O’BRIEN, 17.Emily GIELNIK, 18.Maddy EVANS, 20.Georgina WORTH (gk) **two to be omitted**

Ins: 7.Sunny FRANCO (promoted), 9.Cortnee VINE (returns from injury), 11.Maili FORBES (promoted)

Outs: 15.Abbey LLOYD (not selected)

Unavailable: Nil

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Bianca HENNINGER (gk), 2.Alexandra NATOLI, 5.Alex GUMMER, 6.Annabel MARTIN, 7.Lia PRIVITELLI, 8.Ayesha NORRIE, 9.Natasha DOWIE, 10.Christine NAIRN (c), 11.MelindaJ BARBIERI, 13.Laura SPIRANOVIC, 15.Adriana TARANTO, 16.Samantha JOHNSON, 17.Gulcan KOCA, 19.Rachel ALONSO, 20.Bethany MASON-JONES (gk), 25.Kariah WHITE **one to be omitted**

Ins: 19.Rachel ALONSO (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 4.Melissa TARANTO (knee – season), 14.Selin KURALAY (knee – season)