Tonight’s first round of the Asian Champions League sees a number of great clashes. Celebrated A-League champions Brisbane Roar take on newly promoted J-League outfit FC Tokyo, while in Japan we see two former ACL winners go head to head in Gamba Osaka and Pohang Steelers. For Australian fans their has never been greater anticipation of the tournament with Brisbane Roar touted by many as our best ever contender.
Brisbane’s manager Ange Postecoglou has made no secret of his ambition in this tournament saying to The World Game (click for video of pre match interview) website “there was definitely an eye on this competition when we were kinda’ putting the team together.” While Brisbane had lost marquee players in Matt Mackay and Jean Carlos Solorzano since taking the 2010/2011 title, the Queenslander club were able to find capable new faces in Besart Berisha and Mohamed Adnan. The latter being slightly enigmatic, but truly fitting the ‘play it out from the back’ style that is now associated with Brisbane.
FC Tokyo go into the match with limited match practice and a stop-over flight via Singapore. On top of that the ‘Gasmen’ are missing Lucas and new captain Yohei Kajiyama so the Roar have a great opportunity to get their ACL tournament off to a positive start.
For those that like a punt, look for exotic bets like TabSportsBet’s ‘over 2.5 goals option. Both teams like to play the ball around and Brisbane’s Postecoglou is adamant his boys will continue with his philosophy in the face of any heat the ‘Gasmen’ provide. Look for defender Adnan to play a significant (positive or negative) role for the home team.