After some indifferent performances in the past three weeks, the A-League’s newest club will be looking to improve in front of their home fans.
Last Friday night’s loss to Central Coast Mariners was not all doom and gloom but it is at home where they need to fire to get the support from the Melbourne people.
11,513 turned out to see their crosstown rivals, the Victory, take on the Phoenix in a midweek fixture on Wednesday so in reality, the Heart need to at least break even with that to be seen to be making progress.
In the Wellington camp, they will be pleased with their showing against the Victory after two losses on the round previously and Ricki Herbert has his players primed for this contest with a win enabling them to push right into the top four.
However, the Heart regain key attackers Rutger Worm and Alex Terra and star playmaker Josip Skoko which is an enormous boost for the club and I’m tipping a semi upset with John van ‘t Schip’s charges to salute for the second time this season.
Verdict: Heart 2-1
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 3 and FS3 HD and Sky Sport 2 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 774 ABC (Melbourne), SEN Digital & 1035AM The Radio Network (Wellington).To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Melbourne Heart squad: 1.Clint BOLTON (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Brendan HAMILL, 4.Simon COLOSIMO (c), 6.Matt THOMPSON, 7.Rutger WORM, 9.Gerald SIBON, 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 11.ALEX TERRA, 12.Peter ZOIS (gk), 15.John ALOISI, 18.Ante TOMIC, 19.Eli BABALJ, 20.Josip SKOKO, 21.Kliment TASESKI, 22.Nick KALMAR, 23.Dean HEFFERNAN, 24.Aziz BEHICH *three to be omitted*
In: Rutger WORM (return from injury), Alex TERRA (promoted), Josip SKOKO (return from injury)
Out: Michael BEAUCHAMP (suspended – 2 weeks)
Unavailable: Kristian SARKIES (Leg – Indefinite), Jason HOFFMAN (National Team Duty)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Mark PASTON (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Tony LOCHHEAD, 4.Nick WARD, 6.Tim BROWN, 7.Leo BERTOS, 8.Paul IFILL, 9.Chris GREENACRE, 11.DANIEL, 13.Troy HEARFIELD, 15.Jade NORTH, 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Dylan MACALLISTER * two to be omitted*
In: Vince LIA (return from injury)
Out: Mirjan PAVLOVIC (National Team Duty)
Unavailable: Reece CROWTHER (gk, ribs – 3 weeks)