Sydney FC vs. Brisbane Roar
MATCH UP STATS
Sydney FC vs. Brisbane Roar
Season record:Sydney FC: 9-3-0Brisbane Roar: 5-6-1
Last 5 results:Sydney FC: WWDWDBrisbane Roar: DWWDD
First goal scorer:Sydney FC: Bobo ($5 @ Sportsbet)Brisbane Roar: J Maclaren ($7.50 @ Sportsbet)
Friday, December 30, 2016, 7.50pm, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, watch on Fox Sports.
WHAT better way to celebrate the penultimate day of 2016 than with a clash between the A-League’s top two teams.
With the way Sydney FC has been playing, they could make a mockery of the match’s billing.
Still undefeated in the 2016-17 season, the Sky Blues have been slaughtering teams, with their latest win coming on the road at reigning champions Adelaide United.
Of course, the bottom placed Reds are a shell of their former selves, but you can only beat what is put in front of you and Sydney is doing that almost every game.
A first half goal to marquee man Filip Holosko got the ball rolling for the Sky Blues, but didn’t foreshadow the early second-half flurry that was to come.
In 13 minutes, the Sky Blues simply annihilated United, firing in three goals between the 53rd minute and the 66th.
Talisman Alex Brosque scored first, knocking in a pin point pass from Milos Ninkovic, who then provided for Ryan Grant on 64, before Brosque got in on the action again, cleaning up a Holosko strike that bounced of the back post.
It was yet another complete performance on the road and they will be buoyed by the fact they claimed their first win in Adelaide since February 2012.
The last time these two teams played, they eked out a 1-1 draw in Brisbane, a pair of goals right out of the top shelf ensuring the stalemate.
In that match, Josh Brilliante scored a contender for goal of the season early in the first half when he found space in midfield, surging forward and planting an unstoppable 25 yard strike into the top corner.
The Roar fought back, though, through Danish midfielder Thomas Kristensen, who blasted a curling shot from the edge of the box that gave Sky Blues keeper Danny Vukovic no chance and left the two teams to battle out a dour draw.
The shoe was on the other foot last Friday though, when the Roar surrendered a 1-0 lead at home to share the points with the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Speedy defender Corey Brown lashed home a cross by star midfielder Thomas Broich just after the half time break, but that was cancelled out by Wanderers skipper Dimas, who fired in from a set piece, leaving both teams forced to settle for a point each.
The mind games have already started, with Roar coach John Aloisi pointing out that Brisbane has had a longer break than the Sky Blues, who were forced to deal with sweltering conditions in Adelaide.
“Sydney’s turnaround is much shorter and it was pretty hot in Adelaide,” Aloisi said.
“I’m sure they will make a few changes to freshen themselves up, but either way we’re confident if beating them.
“We’re getting better with each game as the season goes on and this is a great chance for us to show what we can do.”
But Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold was having nothing of it.
“We have the fittest team in the country — I truly believe that,” Arnold said.
“We’ve been ruthless.
“When you have competition for places and the key indicator is performance, then the players will push each other and it’s a joy to watch.
“We’ve got a tough game on Friday night against Brisbane Roar and we will put on another performance like that (the 4-0 win over Adelaide United.”
First goal scorer tips
The club’s leading goal scorer with seven, it seems like a broke record, but this guy must be looked at in every first goal scorer market. Tough as nails and with a pathological will to win, you always feel confident when your money is on Brosque.
Milos Ninkovic ($11 @ Sportsbet.com.au)
Might just be the best player in the A-League. Whether he is firing in one of his five goals this campaign, or setting up his teammates with one of his seven assists, Milos always finds himself in good places in the attacking third.
Jamie Maclaren ($7.50 @ Sportsbet.com.au)
One of the best in the business, after a slow start, Maclaren has six goals in his past eight matches and is just starting to find some serious form. Super talented, the striker will give the Sydney FC defence fits, should the Roar break down the midfield.
Class seems to take precedence in these big matches and the Dane just oozes it. As we mentioned, he scored one of the better goals you will see the last time these two teams met and it would surprise no one if he were to repeat the dose.
Match result: Sydney FC to win ($1.75 @ Sportsbet.com.au)
Correct match score: Sydney FC to win 2-0 ($8.50 @ Sportsbet.com.au)
Total match goals: Under 2.5 ($1.96 @ Sportsbet.com.au)
Let us get this straight. Sydney FC have won nine of their 12 games and have not lost. And yet they are $1.75 at home against the Brisbane Roar? The fact the Roar have only lost one game has inflated the odds, but, on paper and on the park, the Sky Blues should well be the better side. The Roar have been the beneficiaries of some shoddy performances by their counterparts in the chasing pack and they sit second, but are three games behind the ladder leaders. Roar certainly has class, but we feel they are a step off the pace against the Sky Blues, even if they will be more rested.
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