Melbourne Heart v Western Sydney Wanderers – AAMI Park, Melbourne, Friday 8th November.
Melbourne Heart are still winless this season, after a 3-0 loss to Brisbane last week. The Heart had spells in the match where they were in control of the game, mainly in the first half, but their lack of clinical finishing allowed the Roar to get away with all three points.
Both coaches viewed the game differently, regarding the performances of their teams. Aloisi was happy with his team’s performance, while Mulvey was critical of his team’s display.
Western Sydney came back from behind to register their first home win of the season, thanks to a brace by young gun Tomi Juric. The Wanderers fell behind to a second half strike from Carrusca, up to that point Adelaide as expected were dominating possession, and created some good chances.
Midfielder Mateo Poljak did not play and his presence and distribution in the middle of the park was missed, as he Wanderers gave up possession too easily on a number of occasions.
Melbourne Heart sit bottom of the table after four rounds, one of only two teams yet to register a win this season. Harry Kewell has been ruled out of the match, with an ankle injury. Ian Ramsey is proving to be one of the Heart’s best players but this week he will have to be more clinical in front of goal as chances will be at a premium, against the sturdy defence of the Wanderers.
Popovic’s main concern will be the replacement of Hersi with the winger still out due to the injury he sustained against Sydney FC. Last week, Santalab was brought into the starting line up to cover for the injury, but was replaced in the second half with Minniecon, who looked dangerous and changed the game in favour of the home team.
Juric stole the headlines last week with his goal scoring feat, even catching the eye of new Socceroos coach Postecoglou, who stated that should Juric maintain his form throughout the season, he could earn a place in the national team. The Heart was dismantled through the middle of the park last week and if they do not tighten up the midfield, Ono will cause havoc.
It is hard to see the Heart beating the Wanderers on current form but they need to kick start their season, especially at home. The Wanderers should win and will need to score early as the Heart won’t make the same mistake as last week and allow their opposition to settle into the game.