After a pre-season lacking belief and a first round astounding performance many, the City boys are finally back.
Arguably the majority of fans weren’t expecting such an incredible performance come Round 1 due to our pre-season and Australia Cup woes, but what a way for our City boys to reset those doubts. A 2-1 win against the reigning Champions was a great start, but there is a long way to go.
We crack on against a relatively well-built Brisbane Roar squad at Suncorp Stadium on Friday evening. Our last match at Suncorp actually finished in a 2-2 draw way back in 2020! Since then, the record has heavily favoured City with five wins from only six games.
This means we should absolutely have the right to go into this fixture confident. This is something that City fans still aren’t used to despite our great success in recent years.
Therefore, here are the three things to look out for when we take on Brisbane on Friday night:
Charlie Austin is the name that will be at the focus of defensive training this week. The veteran English striker was unable to get his first goal of the season against recently crowned Australia Cup winners Macarthur Bulls. Does this increase his threat? Is Charlie Austin scoring just an inevitable outcome?
I don’t think so.
Although Curtis Good and Nuno Reis were out last week - and may very well be this week – we were still able to keep Western United contained. Tom Glover was in spectacular form as well, unlucky not to keep a clean sheet.
Our defensive structure has certainly undergone hard work over the pre-season and there will not be many greater tests than one of the most prolific goal scorers in English football. If we keep him contained, there is no estimating what our limit is this season.
Valon Berisha; what a signing!
If you told me five years ago that we would be signing Berisha, I’d have told you (with some very colourful language) to stop pulling my leg. Little did we know, we’d be signing Valon Berisha!
What an impact this man has made in only 90 minutes. We’ve already harped on about his incredible ball play across the socials, but one thing that needs to be mentioned is his work rate. Against Western United, I don’t think the Kosovan hesitated once when it came to pressing the opposition high up the park.
The A-League is often misconstrued as a league lacking energy, but Berisha is seemingly going to stamp those ideas out with his continual running. Defenders are going to have nightmares.
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named started his A-League Men’s career in Brisbane. Maybe Valon D’Or can continue the good times of the Berisha name in that city come Friday night.
Does Tils start?
This issue has sent #SokkahTwitter crazy. Marco Tilio is undoubtedly one of the most highly rated young players in Australian football and is almost a shoe-in for the World Cup squad, but will he get there if he isn’t even starting in the A-League Men?
His issue remains to be the form of the incredibly talented Mathew Leckie and Andrew Nabbout who have a great deal of experience and continue to attain results for Patrick Kisnorbo’s side. According to the widely utilised FotMob.com, Leckie and Nabbout were the some of the most highly rated wingers in Round 1 with an 8.4 and 8.09 rating respectively.
Therefore, who does PK drop? We all agree that Tilio needs game time, but we also need to continue doing what works in order to achieve results in the league. I’d be happy if Tilio starts on Friday, but if he doesn’t, we must trust the process and know that his time will certainly come.
A massive chance to set the pace early and make a statement in the league. We must bring our A-game against the Roar as they undoubtedly boast goal threat. If we take the game to them, it will be our three points to lose.
Score Prediction: Roar 1 – 3 City