The Reds will go into this one as favourites after playing out draws in their opening two matches as the Heart have experienced a loss and were lucky to get a point against the Newcastle Jets last week.
Despite having plenty of injury worries, Adelaide will be confident they can get a positive result after holding sway for much of last week’s clash with the Central Coast Mariners where they were undone by a late Matt Simon goal following Iain Fyfe’s first-half opener.
The Heart will be thanking Jets youngster Ben Kantarovski for his freak own goal that gave them a 1-1 draw and their first-ever A-League point, kickstarting their season. It wouldn’t be what coach John van ‘t Schip had in mind for the clubs first goal but he will take what he can get at the moment as he continues to mould his squad.
I see this encounter ending with the scoreline on equal terms, with both sides managing a goal, as the Reds will struggle up front as usual but they will be solid enough in defence to keep out most of the Heart advances.
Verdict: 1-1 draw.
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS (c), 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 15.Francsco MONTEROSSO, 16.Inseob SHIN, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 24.Cameron WATSON *one to be included*
Out: Adam HUGHES (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: Nigel BOOGAARD (ankle – 11 weeks), Robert CORNTHWAITE (groin – 1 week), Travis DODD (groin – 6 weeks), Lloyd OWUSU (knee – indefinite), Fabian BARBIERO (ankle – 3 weeks), Joe COSTA (knee – 1 week)
Melbourne Heart 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, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Dean HEFFERNAN, 24. Aziz BEHICH *one to be omitted*
In: 17. Jason HOFFMAN (promoted), 24. Aziz BEHICH (promoted)
Out: 20. Josip SKOKO (Hamstring – 4-6 weeks)
Unavailable: John ALOISI (Hamstring – 2 weeks), Kristian SARKIES (Leg – Indefinite), Josip SKOKO (Hamstring – 4-6 weeks)