Key A-League trio back for Roar

Livewire striker Besart Berisha is set to come straight into the starting line-up in his return from injury for Brisbane’s A-League clash with Western Sydney.


The Albanian marksman had been sidelined for the Roar’s past four matches with a hamstring strain but coach Mike Mulvey labelled him a near-certain starter for Friday’s top-of-the-table clash.

“We don’t want to put too much expectation on him but the thing I do know is he’s done the preparation,” Mulvey said.

“He’s looking good. He’s looking sharp.”

The Roar will also welcome back Socceroos pair Matt McKay and Ivan Franjic, with international commitments keeping them out of last week’s loss to Newcastle at a sodden Hunter Stadium.

Franjic has pulled up well despite playing the full 90 minutes against Costa Rica midweek while McKay is “fresh as a daisy” according to Mulvey.

McKay’s return means Jade North will move back from midfield to central defence with youngster James Donachie dropping to the bench.

It caps a mixed week for Donachie, whose poor pass gave the Jets the ball for their winning goal last Sunday but the 20-year-old has signed a contract extension keeping him at the Roar until the end of 2017.

The Wanderers, unbeaten in their past 18 regular-season matches, made the most of the Roar’s slip-up last week to move two points clear at the top of the ladder.

Striker Youssouf Hersi is poised to return for the Wanderers after a foot injury, giving coach Tony Popovic a near full squad to choose from.

The Roar are yet to beat the Wanderers and had their season ended by the Sydneysiders in last year’s finals campaign.

“It’s been a short turnaround but we’ve spent our time recovering well for a formidable opponent,” Mulvey said.

“They’re very well drilled … we need to make sure we’ve organised well.

“If we can get an early goal and get the crowd behind us anything’s possible.”

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