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2014-15 A-League Season Preview: Brisbane Roar

We preview the defending champions ahead of the new A-League season.

Last Season:

The loss of Mitch Nichols, Ben Halloran and Massimo Murdocca posed questions as to how to Roar would fare in 2013-14.

Brisbane fans needn’t have worried as Mike Mulvey led the side to its third title in four seasons.

Brisbane won the wrapped up the minor premiership with three matches remaining, before winning the grand final against the Western Sydney Wanderers in extra time.

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This season:

Besart Berisha rescued the Roar on countless occasions, so his loss cannot be understated.

His replacement Mensur Kurtisi is an unknown, and reports suggest he isn’t a like-for-like replacement for Berisha.

It means Henrique will start up front, and if he, with Kurtisi and Jean-Carlos Solorzano can make up for Berisha’s goals then the Roar will challenge for the title again.

Adam Sarota is a shrewd signing by Mulvey and arguably makes Brisbane’s midfield the strongest in the competition.

Ivan Franjic is a huge loss at right back, with youngster James Donachie set to fill his position.

Ins:

Jamie Young (Hayes & Yeading United/ENG), Daniel Bowles (Adelaide United/AUS), Mensur Kurtisi (FK Skendija/MKD), Adam Sarota (Loan, FC Utrecht/NED), Matt Acton (Yangon United/BUR)

Outs:

Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory/AUS), Diogo Ferreira (Perth Glory/AUS), Julius Davies (Otelul Galati/ROU), Ivan Franjic (Torpedo Moscow/RUS)

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Michael Theo, Jamie Young

Defenders: Matt Smith, Shane Stefanutto, Corey Brown, Jade North, Daniel Bowles, James Donachie, Jack Hingert

Midfielders: Adam Sarota, Liam Miller, Steven Lustica, George Lambadaridis, Devante Clut, Matt McKay, Luke Brattan, Thomas Broich, Dimitri Petratos

Attackers: Mensur Kurtisi, Henrique, Jean-Carlos Solorzano, Kofi Danning

Prediction: Top Four

Brisbane will without doubt challenge for the title again, but it remains to be seen how bigger loss Besart Berisha is.

Under Mike Mulvey, the Roar will continue to play the fast-flowing vertical football we’ve come to know over the past four or so seasons, but there’s no doubt the midfield will have to chip in with more goals without the Albanian.

Brisbane will have no issues making the top four, but how deep they can go in the finals is another question.

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