A long, cold winter has passed, and the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season is upon us.
A blockbuster clash between Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar gets the season underway at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, and it promises to be an entertaining affair.
Two of the competition’s most attacking and free-flowing teams will go head to head in a replay of last season’s Elimination Final, which Roar won 2-1 in a thrilling finish.
While much is unknown about who will challenge for this season’s Premiership and Championship, both of these teams will fancy their chances of winning silverware.
Roar are considered to be one of the teams to beat in the 2016/17 season after falling just short of reaching the Grand Final in their last campaign.
Brisbane has brought in some talented recruits in the off-season, led by Socceroo Brett Holman and Danish midfielder Thomas Kristensen.
Roar will relish the opportunity to play the opening round at Suncorp Stadium, a venue where they defeated Victory twice last season.
Brisbane will go into the game missing midfielder Dimitri Petratos, who is recovering from an ankle injury.
“The last time we were there we performed very, very well. If we perform to the same level, I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll win.” – Victory head coach Kevin Muscat.
“With the great support I’ve had from my family and the club, my batteries are fully recharged and I’m ready to go against Brisbane on Friday night. It’s important obviously for me personally to feel good, but the fact that I can contribute to the team and the team is going well, that’s fantastic.” – Victory captain Carl Valeri.
“They’re probably the best counter-attacking team. They’ll press you hard for the first 15-20 minutes. We’ll play to the final whistle, so we’re confident we can create opportunities.” – Brisbane coach John Aloisi.
“They are a good side with some good recruits and it’s always tough when we play them. It’s been a long pre-season and we’re just itching to get out on Suncorp Stadium in front of our fans.” – Brisbane captain Matt McKay.
Hyundai A-League 2016 Elimination Final
Brisbane Roar 2-1 Melbourne Victory
Friday, April 15, 2016
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
It was heartbreak for Victory when the two teams last met. Victory dominated for large periods of the game, eventually finding the lead in the 86th minute through Besart Berisha.
But remarkably, Brisbane scored two goals in five minutes via Matt McKay and Thomas Broich to advance to the Semi Finals.
Elimination Final, 2016: Roar 2-1 Victory at Suncorp Stadium
Round 27, 2015/16: Victory 0-0 Roar at AAMI Park
Round 23, 2015/16: Roar 5-0 Victory at Suncorp Stadium
Round 15, 2015/16: Victory 4-0 Roar at AAMI Park
Round 26, 2014/15: Roar 0-0 Victory at Suncorp Stadium
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Round 1
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Friday, October 7, 7.50pm AEDT, 6.50pm local
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
TV: Live on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm AEDT and SBS2 from 7.30pm AEDT
Radio: 612 ABC Brisbane/ABC Local Radio Qld, 774 ABC Melbourne/ABC Local Radio Vic, Grandstand Digital, A-League Live via the ABC Radio app, Crocmedia A-League Live, EON Sports Radio, SEN 1116
Online: Join the conversation on social media using #BRIvMVC
Brisbane Roar squad (two to be omitted): 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 11.Tommy OAR, 13.Jade NORTH, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 26.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Joey KATEBIAN
Unavailable: 23.Dimitri PETRATOS (ankle – 2 weeks), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (international duty – 4 weeks)
Melbourne Victory squad (two to be omitted): 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Besart BERISHA, 10.James TROISI, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Alan BARO, 17.James DONACHIE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 27.Alastair BRAY (gk)
Unavailable: 7.Marco ROJAS (international duty – 1 week), 16.Rashid MAHAZI (illness – 1 week)