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A-League Preview: Bridge out, Petratos fit for grand final

2 May 2014 04:29

Western Sydney Wanderers striker Mark Bridge has been ruled out of their A-League grand final against the Brisbane Roar.

In a blow for Tony Popovic's men, Bridge's ankle injury sustained in their 2-0 semi-final win over the Central Coast Mariners proved too much for the former Sydney FC man to overcome ahead of the Sunday showpiece.

In the only change for the Parramatta-based club, Bridge comes out of the squad for Jason Trifiro.

The Roar are unchanged after their fortunate 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory.

Dimi Petratros was in doubt for Mike Mulvey's men, however the 21-year-old overcame his ankle injury picked up in their semi-final victory to make the squad.

Brisbane are hunting their third championship, after sewing up the premiership by finishing 10 points clear of closest rivals Western Sydney.

The top two went on to frank the regular season ladder by qualifying for the grand final, with the Wanderers in the last game of the season for the second time in as many campaigns in their short history.

Western Sydney hold no fears of Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, having won there at the first two times of asking in October 2012 and January 2013, however their most recent visit ended in a 3-1 defeat.

The Roar trumped the Wanderers via goals to Besart Berisha, Ivan Franjic and Kwame Yeboah, who is now on the books of Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach.

Brisbane left-back Shane Stefanutto was not expecting an easy task against the spirited Wanderers.

"It's a challenge, there's no doubting it," Stefanutto said.

"I've had challenges every week so far over the last few weeks.

"It was Bernie Ibini, then it was Kosta Barbarouses, then it's Youssouf Hersi, it doesn't get harder or easier.

"These games, they're the best teams in the league so they've got the best players, so for me it's a challenge I look forward to, and there's no doubt we'll have a good battle."

The Wanderers' hosting of Brisbane in February and April both ended in 1-1 draws, with Brisbane scoring first on both occasions.

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A-League table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0

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