Melbourne Heart were ok on debut but will need to up the ante if they don't want to be left behind in the early stages of the A-League season.
The new club take on the Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium tomorrow night after an acceptable but losing performance against Central Coast Mariners in front of 11,000 at Melbourne's AAMI Park.
John van 't Schip's men were very hard to gauge last week; at times appearing like they had played together for years but more often than not looking like the team who had been basically thrown together no more than a month ago.
Players like Matt Thompson, Josip Skoko and Gerald Sibon will be 'better for the run' and are likely improvers as the Heart continue to get used to life in the A-League.
The Jets were held to a scoreless draw by a dour Adelaide United at Hindmarsh last Friday but managed to create a number of chances through the likes of Michael Bridges, Marko Jesic and Sean Rooney - the latter injuring himself at training and will now be sidelined for at least a month.
On that performance, the Jets are definitely good enough to take this one out but I believe the opening game lesson will be taken on board by the Heart who may cause a minor upset with former Jets skipper Thompson leading the charge.
Verdict: Heart 1-0.
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne HeartDate: Friday, 13 August, 2010 Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Local kick-off: 8.00pm Head-to-head: First meeting Referee: Ryan Shepheard
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 3, FS3 HD & delayed on Sky Sports 2. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 1233 ABC (Newcastle) and 774 ABC (Melbourne). To purchase tickets visit www.proticket.com.au
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D'APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI 7. Kasey WEHRMAN 8. Michael BRIDGES, 10. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 13. Sash PETROVSKI, 14. Labinot HALITI, 16. Jeremy BROCKIE, 17. Marcello FIORENTINI, 18. Marko JESIC, 19. Ali ABASS, 30. Paul HENDERSON *two to be omitted* In: Nil Out: 21.Brodie MOOY (not selected), 22. Kaz PATAFTA (not selected), 2. Taylor REGAN (not selected) Unavailable: 9. Zhang SHOU, 20. Neil YOUNG (illness - indefinite), 15. Sean ROONEY (calf - 4/6 weeks)
Melbourne Heart FC squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Michael MARRONE, 3. Brendan HAMILL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO (c), 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6. Matthew THOMPSON, 7. Rutger WORM, 9. Gerald SIBON, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 11. ALEX TERRA, 12. Peter ZOIS (gk) 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 19. Eli BABALJ, 20. Josip SKOKO, 21. Kliment TASESKI, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Dean HEFFERNAN, 24. Aziz BEHICH *three to be omitted* In: 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 17. Jason HOFFMAN (promoted), 21. Kliment TASESKI (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: 15.John ALOISI (Hamstring - 3 weeks), 8.Kristian SARKIES (Leg - Indefinite), 14.Kamal IBRAHIM (not selected), 18.Ante TOMIC (not selected)