Melbourne Heart FC sits on the precipice of history ahead of the side’s crunch match with Sydney FC at AAMI Park tomorrow evening.
Melbourne Heart FC sits on the precipice of history ahead of the side-s crunch match with Sydney FC at AAMI Park tomorrow evening.
With two matches of the regular season remaining, Heart lays a win away from cementing its spot in the top six, guaranteeing finals football for the first time.
However, in its way stands a resolute Sydney outfit, riding a wave of confidence following a morale boosting triumph over fierce rivals Melbourne Victory at Allianz Stadium last week.
Heart will have a full squad to call upon for the fixture, with Kristian Sarkies cleared for selection earlier this week after recovering from a quad strain.
Whether van ‘t Schip though ultimately opts to call upon the likes of Rutger Worm, Jason Hoffman and David Williams, three players who have found themselves on the cusp of selection numerous times this season, remains to be seen, particularly given Heart-s form in recent weeks.
The Red and White will also no doubt be bolstered by its previous record against Sydney FC, having claimed two wins and three draws from five matches this season.
And in their last meeting, Heart inflicted a 4-0 thrashing upon the Sky Blues on December 29, in a match which saw employ the counter attack to ruthless effect.
Sydney FC: WWLDW
29 December 2011 – Sydney FC 0 Melbourne Heart FC 4 @ Allianz Stadium
29 October 2011 – Melbourne Heart FC 1 Sydney FC 1 @ AAMI Park
12 February 2011 – Melbourne Heart FC 2 Sydney FC 2 @ AAMI Park
Player to Watch
Nick Carle – The attacking midfielder has been an ever present creative force this season, and will likely again play a significant role on Saturday night. Heart-s rearguard will need to be vigilant to his beguiling ways.
Fact of the Week
Melbourne Heart FC will confirm a finals berth with victory over Sydney FC
Melbourne Heart FC squad: 1. Clint Bolton (GK), 2.Michael Marrone, 3.Brendan Hamill, 4.Simon Colosimo, 5.Fred (c), 6.Matt Thompson, 7.Rutger Worm, 10.Wayne Srhoj, 11.Alex Terra, 13.Jonatan Germano, 15.David Williams, 16.Aziz Behich, 17.Jason Hoffman, 18.Curtis Good, 19.Eli Babalj, 23.Mate Dugandzic, 27.Craig Goodwin, 30.Sebastian Mattei (GK) *three to be omitted*
Coach: John van ‘t Schip
In: Jason Hoffman, David Williams, Rutger Worm (all promoted)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Liam Reddy, 4. Pascal Bosschaart, 5. Michael Beauchamp, 6. Hirofumi Moriyasu, 7. Brett Emerton, 9. Bruno Cazarine, 10. Nick Carle, 11. Dimi Petratos, 12. Shannon Cole, 15. Terry McFlynn (c), 16. Joel Chianese, 17. Terry Antonis, 19. Mark Bridge, 20. Ivan Necevski, 21. Scott Jamieson, 23. Rhyan Grant, 24. Mitch Mallia *two to be omitted*
Coach: Vitezslav Lavicka
In: Hiro Moriyasu (promoted), Shannon Cole (promoted), Mitch Mallia (promoted)
Out: Karol Kisel (suspended – 1 week)