Melbourne Heart v Melbourne VictoryFriday, 23 December 2011Venue: AAMI ParkLocal Kick Off: 8:00 pm
The Hyundai A-League’s fiercest rivals will meet in what is shaping as one of the competition’s most highly anticipated matches at AAMI Park tomorrow night.
Having claimed five of the last six matches, Heart enters the contest in a strong vein of form, producing back-to-back wins on the road to lay its claims for a berth in the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
Prolific striker Mate Dugandzic is looming as Heart’s main offensive weapon, having looked particularly menacing during the two sides previous meeting during week three of the season, while forward partner Eli Babalj has produced stellar displays in recent weeks.
Victory though boasts significant attacking talent of its own, with Archie Thompson, Carlos Hernandez and Harry Kewell forming a particularly potent attacking triumvirate.
Thompson and Hernandez have combined menacingly over the last month, while Kewell has begun to demonstrate the type of form which saw him win a UEFA Champions League and FA Cup with Liverpool.
22 October 2011 – Melbourne Victory 0 Melbourne Heart FC 0 @ Etihad Stadium22 January 2011 – Melbourne Victory 2 Melbourne Heart FC 2 @ Etihad Stadium11 December 2011 – Melbourne Heart FC 1 Melbourne Victory 3 @ AAMI Park
Harry Kewell – After producing a series of progressively improving displays, the stage appears set for the Socceroo to produce his strongest performances of the campaign, making it imperative the Red and White close him down at every opportunity.
Fact of the Week
Midfielders Wayne Srhoj and Fred are ranked in the top four of the Hyundai A-League in tackling efficiency, sitting at first and fourth respectively.
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, 9. Maycon, 10. Wayne Srhoj, 11. Alex Terra, 15. David Williams, 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Jason Hoffman, 18. Curtis Good, 19. Eli Babalj, 23. Mate Dugandzic, 25. Adrian Madaschi, 30. Sebastian Mattei (GK), *three to be omitted*
Melbourne Victory squad: 2. Matthew Foschini, 3. Fabio, 4. Petar Franjic, 6. Leigh Broxham, 7. Matthew Kemp, 8. Grant Brebner, 9. Jean Carlos Solorzano, 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas, 12. Rodrigo Vargas, 13. Diogo Ferreira, 15. Tom Pondeljak, 16.Carlos Hernandez, 17, Jimmy Jeggo, 18. Danny Allsopp, 19. Isaka Cernak , 20. Lawrence Thomas (GK), 21. Ante Covic (GK), 22. Harry Kewell, 23. Adrian Leijer (c), *five to be omitted*