In what is good news for the visiting Melbourne Heart, North Queensland have dropped their last two home matches.
That formline bodes well for the Heart who have largely improved their game away from the comfort of AAMI Park as they strive to take their unbeaten run to six matches.
The Fury were unlucky against the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night but consequently are in a unstable position as they sit second bottom with just 10 points from 12 matches.
With a host of players being brought into the squad, coach Franz Straka looks like he may make some changes to his line-up as he tries to put together a winning formula with the most interesting inclusion that of young defender Lorenzo Sipi who has been called up from the Queensland State League.
In the Heart camp, John van ‘t Schip will welcome the return of midfielder Wayne Srhoj, who missed last Wednesday’s draw with Perth Glory due to suspension, and exciting Brazilian striker Alex Terra who has been included in the squad after a frustrating run with niggling injuries.
Melbourne have had a tough run on the road in the past three weeks so they will be battle-hardened for this one even though they were not in action on the weekend and I expect them to come away with maximum points.
Verdict: Heart 2-1
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 & Sky Sports 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is Zinc 100.7 (Townsville), 774 ABC (Melbourne), SEN Digital. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
North Queensland Fury squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2. Jack HINGERT, 3. Brad McDONALD, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 7. Gareth EDDS, 8. Adam CASEY, 9. Eugene SSEPPUYA, 10. Dyron DAAL, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS, 13. Andre KILIAN, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 15. Chris PAYNE, 16. Simon STOREY, 17. Osama MALIK, 18. Brett STUDMAN, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO, 22. Lorenzo SIPI, 28. Sebastian USAI (gk) *six to be omitted*
In: Jack HINGERT (promoted), Adam CASEY (promoted), Panagiotis NIKAS (promoted), Brett Studman (promoted), Jason SPAGNUOLO (promoted), Lorenzo SIPI (promoted)
Unavailable: Eric Akoto (knee – 6 weeks), Matthew HAM (knee – out for the season)
Melbourne Heart squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Michael MARRONE, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6. Matt THOMPSON, 7. Rutger WORM, 9. Gerald SIBON, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 11. Alex TERRA, 12. Peter ZOIS (gk), 16. Aziz BEHICH, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 19. Eli BABALJ, 20. Josip SKOKO, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Dean HEFFERNAN, 25. Adrian ZAHRA *two to be omitted*
In: Wayne SRHOJ (returns from suspension), Alex TERRA (returns from injury)
Unavailable: Kristian SARKIES (four weeks – broken leg), John ALOISI (one week – knee), Brendan HAMILL (three weeks – ankle)