Friday, August 21, 2009

North Queensland Fury - Melbourne Victory: Matchday Three Preview

Saturday, 22 August 2009

North Queensland Fury v Melbourne Victory

Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville

Local kick-off: 5.00 pm

Referee: Peter Green

Tropical Townsville will be raining goals on Saturday evening as current cellar dwellers North Queensland Fury take on reigning A-League champions Melbourne Victory.

With the game kicking off during my favourite time of the day the magic hour , it could be a horror show as the Queensland hosts get set to batten down the hatches; will the Furious leakage of goals continue?.

What can you say about the North Queensland Fury? After only two games they have conceded eight goals, their star import Robbie Fowler has already showed his dark side and some pundits are already suggesting they need help.

Ex Sydney FC and Galatasaray star Ufuk Talay comes in the side to bolster the midfield. Beau Busch has been dropped while the injuries are starting to pile up.

There is speculation that Fred Agius who was one of their best in pre-season could be a late addition.

Furious Quotes: ''We need wiser, calmer people out there rather than the young kids running about just now, so we've gone towards that” said Fury coach Ian Ferguson

''We've copped a hiding, there's no hiding place and these boys know that, it's an opportunity for them to go and shut some people up.

"There's no use moping about it, it's happened” said an somewhat optimistic Fury coach

Furious players to watch: C’mon Robbie (Fowler) kick the ball not the opposition players head. Ufuk Talay’s passing game and long range bombs will add some much needed experience to the Furious (just never gets old does it) line up. Indigenous duo David Williams and Fred Aguis could produce some exciting moments if Ian Ferguson decides to play the latter.

The Melbourne Victory only have one point to show from their two matches and they should take some confidence into the game after coming back from 3-1 down against Brisbane Roar last week. Fulham reject Adrian (Princess) Leijer returns to the Victory after an awful three seasons with the Cottagers in London. The Socceroos defender could line up in defence for the Victory.

Victorious Quotes: “Shoot Carlos, Shoot!” yelled Hernandez’s team mates.

Victory Players To watch: Costa Rican midfielder Carlos Hernandez is on fire after getting a spectacular double last week against the Brisbane Roar so expect the free kicks to go flying in to the stands this time. Striker Archie Thomson has been quite by his standards and could go on a rampage in Townsville. It’s the third time I have talked up Thai international Surat Sukha but coach Ernie Merrick prefers to use the exciting full back as an ornamental display on the bench.

Key Battles: The biggest battle in this game will be wether the Fury net is fastened tight otherwise a few balls could get lost.

A Football Story Prediction: 3-0 to the Victory.

North Queensland Fury line-up: 1. Paul HENDERSON (gk), 2. Robbie MIDDLEBY, 3. Chris TADROSSE, 6. Ufuk TALAY, 8. Shane STEFANUTTO, 9. Robbie FOWLER (c), 11. David WILLIAMS, 16.Paul KOHLER, 18. James ROBINSON, 19. Daniel MCBREEN, 20. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 21. John TAMBOURAS, 22. Karl DODD, 23. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 24. Dyron DAAL



Unavailable: Scott WILSON (foot – 6 weeks), Jacob TIMPANO (hamstring – 6 weeks), Jeremy BROCKIE (quadriceps – 4 weeks), Osama MALIK (thigh – 1 week), Jason SPAGNUOLO, (hamstring - 2 weeks)

Melbourne Victory: 1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 4.Steven PACE, 5.Surat SUKHA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 9.Danny ALLSOPP, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.NEY FABIANO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS (c), 14.Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Matthew FOSCHINI, 19.Evan BERGER, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Nick WARD

*two to be omitted*

In: Steven PACE (promoted), Matthew FOSCHINI (promoted)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: Kevin MUSCAT (hamstring – 3-5 weeks)

Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 3. To purchase tickets visit

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