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By ESPN Staff
Jan 3, 2008

Zullo in doubt for Roar's Victory clash

Recovering Roar revelation Michael Zullo is yet to get the green light for Queensland's crucial A-League clash against Melbourne on Saturday night.

But the new ladder leaders will still unleash yet another exciting youngster on the defending champions - midfielder Chris Grossman.

The 20-year-old Grossman will start his first game since round two in September in one of the biggest games of Queensland's short history.

The Roar need two more points to seal their first ever finals appearance - but have an historic premiership in their sights after leapfrogging Central Coast for the ladder lead last round.

Grossman is a member of Queensland's Department of Youth which also includes Zullo, Robbie Kruse, Tahj Minniecon and Mitch Nichols.

Zullo has been included in coach Frank Farina's squad but is expected to be given another week to overcome the thigh injury that has sidelined him for more than a month.

However, Grossman finally gets his chance to impress again after a frustrating wait.

After losing his spot early in the season following a toe infection, Grossman had to bide his time on the bench as the likes of fellow youngsters Kruse and Zullo made their mark on the A-League.

The injection of Grossman ensures the average age of Queensland's midfield and strikers is just over 21.

"Chris Grossman has been patient and working hard so he gets his chance this week," Farina said.

"It's a pretty young side this week, particularly in the middle and up front,"

"It's a great opportunity for these young players to go out there (Saturday) night and show that they can compete as a unit against the champions.

Grossman, Matt McKay, 24 and 23-year-old Massimo Murdocca are the likely midfield starters with Reinaldo (23), Kruse (19) and Minniecon (18) the strikers.

"Despite the youthful look to the rest of the team we still have a lot of experience at the back with the likes of Josh (McCloughan), Andrew Packer, Hyuk-Su (Seo) and big Sasa (Ognenovski)," Farina said.