Melbourne Heart v Newcastle Jets preview
One teams season keeps getting better as the other battles with poor results and absent players.
The Jets are back on track after a slow start to the season and are coming off a stirring win away at North Queensland on the weekend.
Their roll of five matches without a loss ties in with guest striker Francis Jeffers being at the club. The Englishman has been involved in every game during that run and fortunately for the Jets, their lucky charm has been passed fit to take on the Heart despite some groin soreness.
Branko Culina is beginning to keep his players on the park after a horror run with injuries and suspension and has probably the best-performed defence in the league led by Ljubo Milicevic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley, which should be able to handle a seemingly toothless Melbourne attack.
In the Heart camp, John van 't Schip has some major problems with four losses and a draw in their past five encounters and a handful of first team players unavailable.
Speedy Brazilian forward Alex Terra will miss with a hamstring injury and right-back Michael Marrone is in doubt whilst midfield duo Josip Skoko(groin) and Wayne Srhoj (suspended) are out again.
The newest A-League club need to do something here to stop the rot but I'm afraid I cannot see it happening as the Jets will continue their push to the finals.
Verdict: Jets 1-0
Melbourne Heart v Newcastle JetsDate: Wednesday, 8 December 2010 Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne Local kick-off: 7.00pm Referee: Peter Green Head-to-Head: All matches (played 2): Melbourne Heart wins 1, Newcastle Jets wins 0 (1 draw) Match fact:Melbourne Heart have not scored in their past four matches - only three times in Hyundai A-League has a team played five matches without scoring a goal (New Zealand Knights 6 matches Sep-Oct 2006; Central Coast Mariners 5 matches Mar-Sep 2006, Perth Glory 5 matches Oct-Nov 2010). In terms of time played, the Heart have gone for 439 minutes without scoring, the last goal scored by the Heart coming on 14-November (L1-2 v Brisbane Roar)
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 774 ABC (Melbourne) and SEN Digital and 1233 ABC Newcastle. 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, 12. Peter ZOIS, 15. John ALOISI, 16. Aziz BEHICH, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 21, Kliment TASESKI, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Dean HEFFERNAN, 25. Adrian ZAHRA *two to be omitted* In: Kristian SARKIES (returns from injury), Dean HEFFERNAN (promoted), Jason HOFFMAN (promoted) Out: Alex TERRA (3 weeks - Hamstring) Unavailable: Eli BABALJ (4-6 weeks - Hip and Thigh), Wayne SRHOJ (1 match - suspension), Josip SKOKO (1 week - Groin)
Newcastle Jets squad: 40. Matthew Nash (gk), 2. Taylor REGAN, 3. Adam D'APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI 7. Kasey WEHRMAN,10. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE 13. Sasho PETROVSKI, 14. Labinot HALITI, 17. Marcello FIORENTINI, 18. Marko JESIC, 19. Ali ABASS, 21. Brodie MOOY 24. Francis JEFFERS 50. Jack DUNCAN (GK) *two to be omitted* In: Taylor REGAN (promoted), Brodie MOOY (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Neil YOUNG (illness - indefinite), Michael Bridges (Knee - six weeks), Jeremy BROCKIE (Broken foot - 6 to 8 weeks), Sean ROONEY (knee-season), Ben KENNEDY (GK) (knee - six weeks)