Local derbies are known for bringing the best out of both sides but this one may be a touch different as it is a rivalry that is just one game old. On current form, the Victory should take this out comfortably as they are back in some semblance of form and have almost an entire list to choose from whilst the Heart have taken one point from their past six matches and failed to score in their last five.
Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse are running riot up front for the 'big brothers' and should be too much to handle for the likes of Simon Colosimo and Michael Beauchamp whilst down the other end of the pitch, John van 't Schip's forwards cannot take a trick as highlighted by their 25 shots on goal against Newcastle Jets on Wednesday night for no return.
Historically, derbies can provide plenty of upsets, as seen in the first installment of the Melbourne rivalry on October 8 when the Heart got the job done against the odds over their established competition.
But I cannot see them turning their poor recent form around to down the Victory who will be desperate to give their finals chances a real boost, especially after their cruel 3-3 draw last week.
Verdict: Victory 3-1
Melbourne Heart v Melbourne VictoryVenue: AAMI Park, Melbourne Date: Saturday, 11 December 2010 Local kick-off time: 7.00pm Referee: Chris Beath Head-to-head: All matches (played 1): Melbourne Heart wins 1, Melbourne Victory wins 0 (0 draws) Match fact:Melbourne Heart will be trying to avoid going goalless for a record-equaling sixth match in a row
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League partner is 774 ABC (Melbourne) and SEN. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
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, 9. Gerald SIBON, 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 *four to be omitted* In: John ALOISI (promoted), Josip SKOKO (returns from injury), Kliment TASESKI (promoted), Wayne SRHOJ (returns from suspension) Out: Nil Unavailable: Alex TERRA (3 weeks - Hamstring), Eli BABALJ (4-6 weeks - Hip and Thigh)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3. Mate DUGANDZIC, 5. Surat SUKHA, 7. Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11.Marvin ANGULO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Billy CELESKI, 15. Tommy PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 19. Evan BERGER, 20. Sebastian MATTEI (gk), 21. Robbie KRUSE, 22. Geoff KELLAWAY 23. Adrian LEIJER *three to be omitted* In: Tom PONDELJAK (returns from injury), Adrian LEIJER (returns from suspension) Out: Leigh BROXHAM (calf - 2 weeks) Unavailable: RICARDINHO (knee - 3 weeks)