Brisbane Roar could mimic Socceroos' 3-4-3 formation - Brett Holman
Brisbane's Brett Holman says the controversial back-three defensive structure used by the Socceroos could be successfully employed at the A-League club this season.
The Roar have reverted to the structure at times already this preseason and it could be coach John Aloisi's first option in Wednesday's FFA Cup clash with Melbourne Victory at Brisbane's Perry Park.
Under Ange Postecoglou, the national side has switched to a 3-4-3 formation in its quest for World Cup qualification, bringing mixed results and much debate.
Holman said it could work at the Roar, even if the concept was still a relatively unfamiliar one.
"It's new to everyone and I think the majority of playing are brought up with four at the back, but we're working hard on both formations," the attacking midfielder said.
"I think we will use it a fair bit and maybe it will suit us. If you look at our centre-backs and the quality we have, it could definitely help them."
The system would allow the likes of Luke DeVere, Jade North and Greek international Avraam Papadopoulos to form the last line.
However that combination is unlikely on Wednesday, given Papadopoulos trained separately from the main group this week and it's doubtful he will fit to play.
Aloisi is reluctant to put a label on the Roar's structure, but said a three-man defensive line was "an option" this season.
"Our players are pretty switched on now; we've got players who can easily do that," he said.
"It depends on the opposition and the way they set up as well."
The Victory provide an unusually stern test at this stage of the year, but ahead of his first FFA Cup campaign Holman insists the squad is match fit.
"The main goal was to be ready for Wednesday," he said. "Not to build up for the beginning of the A-League season."
Brisbane's Italian import Massimo Maccarone will play, the striker receiving a last-minute visa clearance.
The Roar and Victory are two of the seven A-League clubs left in the competition, following the eliminations of Perth Glory, Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix in the Round of 32.
A win would see the Roar join fellow Queensland sides Gold Coast City and Moreton Bay in the Round of 16.
Adelaide United host Newcastle Jets, Hume City play Bentleigh Greens and Sydney United meet FNQ Heat in the other Wednesday FFA Cup action.