Fred and Thompson Back For Gold Coast

Melbourne Heart FC on-field leaders Fred and Matt Thompson have been named in an extended 16-man squad to face Gold Coast United at AAMI Park tomorrow night.

Melbourne Heart FC on-field leaders Fred and Matt Thompson have been named in an extended 16-man squad to face Gold Coast United at AAMI Park tomorrow night.

Having missed six weeks and a fortnight respectively through injury, the return of Heart-s midfield duo will provide a massive boost to the Red and White as John van ‘t Schip-s side looks to end its eight match winless run.

Entering the New Year flying high following a 4-0 thumping of Sydney FC, Heart has endured a prolonged form slump, which compounded by the extended absences of Aziz Behich, Mate Dugandzic, Fred, Jason Hoffman and Matt Thompson, has conspired to scupper the side-s top two chances.

However, with six matches remaining, a home final remains a distinct possibility as Heart looks to erode a four-point gap to the fourth placed Perth Glory, while maintaining its advantage over cross town rivals Melbourne Victory, who are a spot behind on the table.

Fred and Thompson-s anticipated return will prove to be an undoubted boon to the Heart, with the midfielders poised to provide the creativity and cutting edge which has been sorely missing from its recent performances.

With four goals this season, Thompson has been one of Heart-s leading scorers, revelling in his return to midfield action following a prolonged stint in defence, while Fred, as the team-s midfield fulcrum, was instrumental in Heart-s rise through November and December.

As two midfielders enter the fray though, one exits, with Kristian Sarkies ruled out for a fortnight with a calf injury.

Sarkies was a late withdrawal from the squad last week after suffering a knock late in training, forcing him to miss the flight to Newcastle.

Defender Curtis Good is another who will miss the crunch encounter, serving a one-match suspension after receiving two yellow cards, but not a red curiously, in the Hunter Valley.

Tickets to Friday night-s match are available through Ticketek at ticketek.com.au or by calling 132 849.

Melbourne Heart FC Squad v Gold Coast United 1.Clint Bolton (GK), 2.Michael Marrone, 3.Brendan Hamill, 4.Simon Colosimo, 5.Fred ©, 6.Matt Thompson, 7.Rutger Worm, 9.Maycon, 10.Wayne Srhoj, 11.Alex Terra, 13.Jonatan Germano, 15.David Williams, 19.Eli Babalj, 26.Paul Reid, 27.Craig Goodwin, 30.Sebastian Mattei (GK) *one to be omitted* In: Fred, Matt Thompson (return from injury) Out: Kristian Sarkies (calf - 2 weeks), Curtis Good (suspended) Unavailable: Aziz Behich, Mate Dugandzic, Jason Hoffman (Australian U23 duty)