Two teams on the different ends of streaks clash here in what is a very one-sided match on paper. Adelaide have won seven in a row at Hindmarsh Stadium and a win here would give them the share in an A-League record for most consecutive victories at a home venue.
On the other hand, the Heart have not won in seven and have taken only one point from a possible 21 in a spell that has seen them slide out of the top six and falling to a dangerous position where they could slip away from the pack if results don't improve.
The Reds have been stellar at home in recent times and are still in pursuit of league leaders Brisbane Roar who edge them by seven points but have played two more matches. They will be desperate to make the most of the visit from the out of form Heart by producing in another strong display and grab all three points.
They lose centre-half Robert Cornthwaite to injury but Daniel Mullen will be an apt replacement alongside Iain Fyfe. In the Heart camp, Gerald Sibon's hamstring strain will cause a gaping hole just behind the strikers and his brilliance on the ball will be sorely missed.
But Josip Skoko is expected to return which will provide some much-needed creativity in the centre of the park, especially in Sibon's absence.
I would love to say the Heart can snap out of this poor spell but I feel the Reds are far too good at home and will roll along with another comfortable success. To notch up their third win from three games against the newest A-League club.
Verdict: Reds 2-0
Adelaide United vs. Melbourne HeartDate: Friday, 17 December 2010 Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Local kick-off: 7:30pm (8.00pm AEDT) Referee: Ryan Shepheard Head-to-Head: All matches (played 2): Adelaide United wins 2, Melbourne Heart wins 0 (0 draws) Match fact: After winning a club record seventh home match in a row last weekend, Adelaide United is now looking to equal the Hyundai A-League's record of longest winning streak at home (eight), initially set by Melbourne Victory who won eight straight home matches between November 2008 - February 2009.
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 3, FS3 HD and Sky Sports 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club partners are ABC Digital (Adelaide), 774 ABC (Melbourne), and SEN Digital. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 16.Inseob SHIN, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 24.Cameron WATSON, 26.Joe KEENAN *one to be omitted* In: Inseob SHIN (promoted), Cameron WATSON (promoted) Out: Robert CORNTHWAITE (hamstring - 1 week) Unavailable: Mathew LECKIE (knee - 5 weeks), Joe COSTA (knee - season)
Melbourne Heart squad: 1.Clint BOLTON, 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Brendan HAMILL, 4.Simon COLOSIMO, 5.Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6.Matt THOMPSON, 7.Rutger WORM, 8. Kristian SARKIES, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 12. Peter ZOIS, 15. John ALOISI, 16. Aziz BEHICH, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 20. Josip SKOKO, 21. Kliment TASESKI, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Dean HEFFERNAN, 25. Adrian ZAHRA *three to be omitted* In: Josip SKOKO (returns from injury), Dean HEFFERNAN (promoted), Kliment TASESKI (promoted) Out: Gerald SIBON (Hamstring 1-2 weeks) Unavailable: Alex TERRA (Hamstring 1 week), Eli BABALJ (Thigh 4-6 weeks)