Brisbane Roar's top goal scorer each of the past two seasons has been forced to the sideline with a hamstring injury suffered last weekend against Sydney FC. The 28-year-old Albanian international left the pitch at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday five minutes before Alessandro Del Piero did the same, with the score still 0-0. The Roar routed the Sky Blues over the final sixty minutes, winning 4-0, and giving Brisbane manager Mike Mulvey hope for plenty of attacking ahead of the big game at Melbourne Victory.
Mulvey is said to be favoring Henrique, who replaced Berisha to great effect over the weekend, to play up top in Melbourne on Friday night. Said Mulvey, as quoted in the Herald-Sun:
"It's disappointing because Besart has worked extremely hard and he's in the best physical shape that he's ever been in. He's scored a bagful of goals in the pre-season but it was nil-nil when he went off. I told him to make sure he gets the rehab done properly because we'll play as well as we can without him and welcome him back when he's fit.
"He's our talisman but it's a squad game and we have a salary cap."
The quick turnaround to a Friday night game likely hurts the Roar more than the Victory who also played on Friday last weekend in Adelaide. But both sides will carry confidence from key attacking sequences that led to a bounty of goals between them.