After coming off their best win in their short history against derby rivals the Victory last week, Melbourne Heart will be looking to continue that form against Wellington Phoenix this afternoon.
John van 't Schip's attacking style worked well against the Victory and a repeat performance here will see his side go close to being the first team in 24 matches to knock off the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.
If Wellington can avoid defeat today, they will set a new Australian national league record for most undefeated matches at one venue and they will be determined to do so against a side who have yet to experience the cauldron of Westpac.
The Heart will be buoyed by the return of skipper Simon Colosimo who missed the derby with a neck injury as well as Dean Heffernan who is back from suspension.
I was thinking about tipping an upset here but I feel the Phoenix are just far too good at home and will not get beaten as the Heart will show further improvement for a solid away draw.
Verdict: 1-1 draw
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne HeartDate: Sunday, 17 October 2010 Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington Local kick-off: 5.00pm (3.00pm AEDT) Head-to-Head: All matches (played 1): Wellington Phoenix wins 0, Melbourne Heart wins 1 (0 draws) Referee: Matt Breeze
Live and exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 1, FS1 HD & on Sky Sport 2 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is The Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM, 774 ABC (Melbourne), SEN Digital. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.co.nz
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 4. Nick WARD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 10. Oscar Roberto CORNEJO, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC, 15. Jade NORTH, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Dylan MACALLISTER *two to be omitted* In: Vince LIA (return from suspension), Dylan MACALLISTER (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Tony LOCHHEAD (groin - 7 weeks), Reece CROWTHER (gk, ribs - 2 weeks)
Melbourne Heart squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Michael MARRONE, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6. Matt THOMPSON, 7. Rutger WORM, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 11. Alex TERRA, 12. Peter ZOIS (gk), 14. Kamal IBRAHIM, 15. John ALOISI, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 18. Ante TOMIC, 20. Josip SKOKO, 21. Kliment TASESKI, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Dean HEFFERNAN, 25. Adrian ZAHRA *three to be omitted* In: Simon COLOSIMO (returns from injury), Ante TOMIC (promoted), Kliment TASESKI (promoted), Dean HEFFERNAN (returns from suspension) Out: Gerald SIBON (Suspended), Aziz BEHICH (Suspended) Unavailable: Kristian Sarkies, Brendan Hamill, Eli Babalj