April 14, 2015 10:43:49 UK
Back-up keeper Lawrence Thomas will get his chance to shine as Melbourne Victory look to take two big steps towards the A-League premiership against Brisbane Roar.
Victory, who are 3.50 to win the Grand Final, suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to bottom side Newcastle Jets on Friday as Thomas took over between the sticks following first-choice keeper Nathan Coe’s back injury.
Coe was hurt in the 3-0 win over Wellington Phoenix the previous weekend that took Kevin Muscat’s side to the A-League summit. He has not recovered enough to be considered for the trip to Queensland where Victory will face the Roar twice in the space of four days.
They meet the defending champions on Wednesday in a game postponed from February and then the teams lock horns again on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.
Coe, who has played three times for Australia, could be in contention for Victory’s final regular season match at home to Central Coast Mariners on 26th April.
Thomas will step in for what will be just his 12th senior appearance since he joined the club in 2011, with Lucas Spinella travelling as cover.
While Victory will be without their senior keeper, the Roar are set to bring back veteran stopper Michael Theo for Wednesday’s clash, which Brisbane are 2.80 to win.
Theo, who has won three championships in four seasons with Brisbane, is on the verge of a return to action following a groin strain.
The Roar have scored nine goals in their past two games, but there are concerns at the other end of the pitch as they are short of defenders. They will be without Daniel Bowles for Wednesday’s game after he was sent off in the 3-2 win over Perth Glory.
Jade North (groin) and Shane Stefanutto (calf) are unavailable, while James Donachie’s hip complaint makes him a major doubt.
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