Saturday, 7 December 2013
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Heart
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-off: 5:30pm local (5:30pm AEDT)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
The Wanderers come into this match on the back of a goalless draw against the Wellington Phoenix, last week. Tony Popovic made a raft of changes for the trip to New Zealand, which seemed to disrupt the chemistry of the team, as the Wanderers struggled to get into any rhythm.
Melbourne Heart on the other hand showed great character, to earn a draw, against Adelaide United. They clawed their way back, from a 2-goal deficit. Heart scored 3 goals in the match, doubling the amount of goals they have scored all season.
The Wanderers will be boosted by the return of key players, Ono and Hersi, the latter making an immediate impact when he entered the game, last week against the Phoenix. Goal scoring is an area that needs to be addressed, with neither Haliti nor Santalab being able to capitalise on, the absence of Juric.
Melbourne Heart will be hoping Harry Kewell can return to action, after his long lay off with injuries. The offseason signing has barley made a contribution, on the field for his new team.
Maltese international Mifsud will be looking to open his goal-scoring tally, as he has failed to return any goals so far this season. He has lacked the composure in front of goals, to capitalise on the opportunities he has created.
Hersi’s return from injury is a timely one, as the Wanderers have lacked the spark he provides. He also allows the Wanderers an option up front, as a means to elevate pressure from the opposition.
Western Sydney Wanderers have won all four matches played against Melbourne Heart in the A-League.
Melbourne Heart have only mustered two goals in four league games against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Only two players have scored for Melbourne Heart in the A-League this season – Andrea Migliorini (3) and David Williams (3).
Western Sydney Wanderers have kept a clean sheet in four of their last six A-League games.
WSW have not lost any of their last nine A-League home games (W7 D2).
Heart are on a run of 13 successive A-League games without a victory (L10 D3).
Melbourne Heart have not won away from home in the A-League since October 2012, losing 15 and drawing two of their away trips since
This game has the potential to either be extremely dire or exciting, depending on how the teams approach the match. If the Heart can take the game to the Wanderers, then we should be in for a great spectacle, however that is a big If.
Western Sydney Wanderers Squad:
1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Adam D’APUZZO, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Michael BEAUCHAMP (c), 6.Jerome POLENZ, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 10.Aaron MOOY, 12.Tahj MINNIECON, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 17.Youssouf HERSI, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Jerrad TYSON (gk) , 21.Shinji ONO, 22. Dean Heffernan, 23.Jason TRIFIRO
Ins: 17.Youssouf HERSI (returns from injury), 6.Jerome POLENZ (promoted), 21.Shinji ONO (promoted)
Outs: 25.Mark CINDRIC
Unavailable: 9. Tomi Juric (knee), 11.Brendon SANTALAB
Melbourne Heart Squad:
1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3. Robbie WIELAERT, 6. Patrick GERHARDT, 7. Iain RAMSAY, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 10. Harry KEWELL, 11.Michael MIFSUD, 14. Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15. David WILLIAMS 16. Aziz BEHICH, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 19. Ben GARUCCIO, 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21. Stefan MAUK, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC, 24. Patrick KISNORBO, 25. Andrea MIGLIORINI
Ins: 10. Harry KEWELL (returns from injury), 19. Ben GARUCCIO (promoted)
Unavailable: 4. Orlando ENGELAAR (Fractured tibia – long-term), 9. Dylan MACALLISTER (Hamstring 2-3 weeks), 13. Jonatan GERMANO (Calf – 2 weeks)