Following Perth Gloryâ€™s win last night, Sydney FC find themselves in a more precarious position than they would have thought leading into Christmas.
The Gloryâ€™s win put the Sky Blues on the equal least amount of points in the competition, shared with North Queensland Fury, meaning that tonightâ€™s meeting with Melbourne Heart is even more of a must-winâ€¦if that is even possible.
That late show where the newest A-League club scored twice in the final four minutes will do wonders for their confidence although Sydney will be out to dent it as the Heart have three of its Championship-winning team among their ranks.
Simon Colosimo, Clint Bolton and John Aloisi all achieved success with the Harbour City club last campaign but have now swapped allegiances and will be keen to get one up on their old supporters who are sure to give them a hard time for jumping ship following such an accomplishment.
On form, the Heart would only slightly take this, but on passion, Sydney may be too strong for their southern rivals and can keep their season alive with a narrow victory.
Verdict: Sydney 2-1
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 2 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club partener is SBS 6 (Digital), 774 ABC (Melbourne) and SEN. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Sydney FC squad: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 5. Hayden FOXE, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 17. Matt JURMAN, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS *three to be omitted*
In: Hayden FOXE (returns from suspension), Nicky CARLE (returns from injury)
Out: Terry ANTONIS (knee â€“ 4 weeks)
Unavailable: Rhyan GRANT (knee â€“ 1 week)
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, 11.Alex TERRA, 12.Peter ZOIS, 15.John ALOISI, 16.Aziz BEHICH, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 20.Josip SKOKO, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23.Dean HEFFERNAN, 25.Adrian ZAHRA *four to be omitted*
In: Gerald SIBON (returns from injury), Alex TERRA (returns from injury), Dean HEFFERNAN (promoted), Brendan HAMILL (promoted)
Unavailable: Eli BABALJ (thigh 4-6 weeks)