Melbourne Heart face a Perth Glory side in potentially hot and heavy conditions in Albury in a 3pm (AEST) Sunday kick-off.
The week that was:
Melbourne Heart are coming off a positive week, after a come from behind 2-1 win at home against Sydney FC. A victory that saw Heart go down to 10 men in the opening half an hour. The loss of marquee man Orlando Engelaar had an immediate effect, as Heart went behind before the halftime break to a goal from Corey Gameiro, giving Sydney the lead at the break.
The side battled back and John van ‘t Schip proved his worth on the touchline as changes to the sides game play and personnel made in the second half had positive effects. The result handed Heart their second league win, leaving the unwanted 19 game winless streak as a distant memory.
Interim Coach John van ‘t Schip’s new look Heart side hadn’t featured young attacker Golgol Mebrahtu, seeing the former Gold Coast man’s playing time limited. Possibly seen as surplus to requirements by the Melbourne side, he’s been allowed to leave to join Western Sydney Wanderers on a free for their Asian Champions League campaign.
The ins and outs:
Ins: Melbourne Heart welcome Stefan Mauk back into the squad after his time with the Olyroos in Oman, elsewhere Michael Mifsud returns after a slight injury.
Attacker Jamie Maclaren returns to the Perth Glory squad, while new signing Rostyn Griffiths is called into the squad to make his debut for the side.
Outs: As mentioned earlier, Orlando Engelaar’s sending off has led to a one week suspension that will see him miss the clash against Glory.
Perth Glory’s Ryan Edwards, Adrian Zahra and young Danny de Silva all miss out this week.
The 90 minutes:
Heart have looked a more cohesive and rejuvenated side in recent weeks since the installment of foundation coach John van ‘t Schip on an interim basis.
The loss of Engelaar in midfield, after relatively positive performances may see a change in the way the midfield look to go about the task in front of them. But the return of Jonatan Germano and the continued good form of Massimo Murdocca could help with the loss of the former Dutch international.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen Heart utilize the attacking attributes of both Mate Dugandzic and Aziz Behich with Harry Kewell integral with those forward passes to meet the two.
And last week’s impact off the bench of David Williams could again prove to be a viable option in latter stages of the game for Heart.
But with Perth’s defensive record being in the top three in the league (18 goals conceded) and only conceding an average of 1.06 goal a game Heart will need to make the most of their chances on goal.
Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Robbie WIELAERT, 6.Patrick GERHARDT, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 10.Harry KEWELL (C), 11.Michael MIFSUD, 13.Jonatan GERMANO, 15.David WILLIAMS, 16.Aziz BEHICH, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Nick KALMAR, 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO
**two to be omitted**
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 7. Jacob BURNS, 8. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10. Jamie MACLAREN, 14.Steven McGARRY, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17. Chris HAROLD, 18. Jack DUNCAN, 19. Josh RISDON, 23.Michael THWAITE, 25. Riley WOODCOCK, 28. Darvydas SERNAS, 36. William GALLAS
**two to be omitted**