Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi is hoping Michael Mifsud will make an immediate impact against Perth Glory in tomorrow’s Round Three Hyundai A-League encounter.
Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi is hoping Michael Mifsud will make an immediate impact against Perth Glory in tomorrow-s Round Three Hyundai A-League encounter.
Mifsud is set to debut for the Red and White at nib Stadium after missing the Club-s opening two fixtures as a result of international duty with the Maltese national team.
Aloisi hopes the Malta international, who returned to training with Melbourne during the week, adds another dynamic to his attack, which has already illustrated its potency in a 2-2 draw with Central Coast Mariners.
“[I-m] excited about Mifsud, he-s looked good in training, he-s sharp, he-s always energetic on and off the pitch - he-s a lively guy - and I can-t wait to see him play,” Aloisi said.
Aloisi said that the 32-year-old had been in good spirits since returning to Melbourne - after featuring in two World Cup Qualifiers - and was a great presence on the training track during the week.
“He-s very lively; he-s always talking, he-s always joking around with the players and he-s got that confidence that most strikers do have,” Aloisi said.
Mifsud will vie for a starting berth in Heart-s front three with Iain Ramsay, Golgol Mebrahtu and Mate Dugandzic, and his pace could provide the Red and White with a lethal combination in the front third.
Ramsay, Mebrahtu and Dugandzic - alongside David Williams, who played in the number 10 role last week - illustrated Aloisi-s side possesses speed and creativity and Mifsud-s introduction could only bolster an already strong attacking line-up.
“I thought [Ramsay] did really well,” Aloisi said. “It-s difficult coming into a new side to get to know the movement we are looking for… and I thought he caused [the Mariners] problems all day and he was probably one of our better players.”
Aloisi-s side has not only demonstrated attacking proficiency, but also an organised midfield - consisting of Andrea Migliorini and Massimo Murdocca - and a structured defence, led by the experienced duo of Patrick Kisnorbo and Robbie Wielaert, which is yet to concede from open play.
“We think we-ve built a squad that defensively will do well, and also we have dangerous players going forward,” Aloisi said.
While captain Harry Kewell (whiplash) will miss the trip west, Aloisi remains wary that Glory at nib Stadium always presents a challenging assignment.
Glory is winless from its opening two matches, but will be desperate to impress in its first match in front of a home crowd this season.
“Perth are a good side… they-ve got a lot of young boys that are very talented,” Aloisi said.
“[I-m] impressed with [Jamie] Maclaren-s movement up front, I think he-s a dangerous player; they-ll have [Ryo] Nagai back from last week and also [Michael] Thwaite, so they-ll be stronger than they were in their first two games and also over there in Perth they are a difficult side to play against.”
The Round Three clash commences at 2pm (local) and 5pm (AEDT) on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, 20 October 2013 Perth Glory v Melbourne Heart FC nib Stadium, Perth Kick-off: 2:00pm local (5:00pm AEDT) Referee: Kris Griffiths- Jones Assistant Referee 1: Mathew Cheeseman Assistant Referee 2: Michal Jasinski Fourth Official: David Bruce
TV Broadcast: 5.00pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand). Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local Radio Victoria, Grandstand Digital, Online/Mobile phone app Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvMHT
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O-NEILL, 4.Ryan EDWARDS, 5.Steve PANTELIDIS, 6.Cameron EDWARDS, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Ryo NAGAI, 10.Jamie MACLAREN, 11.Adrian ZAHRA, 14.Steven McGARRY, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17.Chris HAROLD, 18.Jack DUNCAN, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES **Two to be omitted**
Ins: 24.Matthew DAVIES (promoted), 8.Ryo NAGAI (promoted), 23.Michael THWAITE (promoted) Outs: 19.Joshua RISDON (knee, 8 weeks) Unavailable: 9.Shane SMELTZ (hip - 2 weeks), 13.Travis DODD (knee - ongoing), 15.Isaka CERNAK (hip - 2 weeks), 19.Joshua RISDON (knee, 8 weeks)
Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Robbie WIELAERT (C), 5.Sam MITCHINSON, 6.Patrick GERHARDT, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 11.Michael MIFSUD, 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 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, 25.Andrea MIGLIORINI ***Two to be omitted*** Ins: 11.Michael MIFSUD (returns from international duty with Malta), 5.Sam MITCHINSON (promoted) Outs: Nil Unavailable: 4.Orlando ENGELAAR (Fractured tibia - long-term), 9.Dylan MACALLISTER (Hamstring - 3-6 weeks), 10.Harry Kewell (whiplash - undisclosed), 13.Jonatan GERMANO (Hamstring - three weeks)