Gombau's Reds pose challenge, but we can hurt them: Aloisi

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi acknowledges that tomorrow’s clash against Adelaide United will be a ‘big challenge’, but believes his team has the firepower to hurt Josep Gombau’s side.

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi acknowledges that tomorrow-s clash against Adelaide United will be a ‘big challenge-, but believes his team has the firepower to hurt Josep Gombau-s side.

In what is effectively a six-pointer in Round 8 of the Hyundai A-League at AAMI Park, Aloisi-s side could leap off the basement of the ladder with a win over the Reds, despite the absence of captain Harry Kewell.

Gombau-s side has shown promise and is one of the league-s most effective teams in terms of passing accuracy and possession, but has not enjoyed positive results recently.

“It-s a big challenge; they-re in a similar position to us; they-ve only won one game and that was the first game of the season,” Aloisi said.

“But they-re a side that keep the ball very well so we know it-s going to be a tough game.

“We-ve worked on how we can hurt them this week and also how we can stop them from hurting us.

“So I think it will be a good game - tactically they are a good side - we just need to work to our game plan.”

Aloisi said his side remained positive and confident ahead of Adelaide-s visit.

“We-re confident, we-re very confident we can get the result,” Aloisi said.

“We think we-ve got players that can hurt them, but we have to make sure that we-re focussed the whole game, especially defensively.

“They are a side that can keep the ball for long periods and if you-re out of position they can hurt you.

“But once we do regain the ball, we think we can hurt them.”

Aloisi said Kewell will not be risked against the Reds tomorrow, despite the fact Kewell spent a gruelling week on the track undergoing rehabilitation to an ankle injury.

“We gave Harry a good test yesterday to see if he could play or to see if he could at least be involved and he didn-t pull through it well,” Aloisi said.

“It-s disappointing for him, disappointing for us, but we-ve got enough players that we think can still do a job for us and it-s up to the other players to step up in Harry-s absence.

“Harry did everything right to try to push to play this week, so hopefully he-ll be right next week.

“Everyone wants to see him play, we want him to play and he wants to be out there, but if [he-s not playing at 100 per cent] it-s not going to be good for anyone.”

Aloisi said Michael Mifsud could be handed a start after featuring off the bench last week.

“There will be a few changes - I won-t go into too much detail - but Michael Mifsud will come back in, and we-ll see with a couple of others.

“Michael came back from international duty last week and only played 20 minutes for us last week, but he-s looked very sharp this week and he wants to get off the mark and start scoring goals.”

Tomorrow-s match kicks off at 5pm at AAMI Park.

Sunday, 1 December 2013 Melbourne Heart FC v Adelaide United AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-off: 5:00pm local (5:00pm AEDT) Referee: Strebre Delovski Assistant Referee 1: Hakan Anaz Assistant Referee 2: George Lakrindis Fourth Official: Shaun Evans TV Broadcast: 5.00pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD.Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand). Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local radio Victoria, 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC Local Radio South Australia, Grandstand Digital Melbourne and Adelaide, Online/Mobile phone app Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MHTvADL To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets

Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (go), 2.Jeremy WALKER, 3.Robbie WIELAERT, 6.Patrick GERHARDT, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 11.Michael MIFSUD, 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15.David WILLIAMS, 16.Aziz BEHICH, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 20.Tando VELAPHI (go), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Nick KALMAR, 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 25.Andrea MIGLIORINI, 28. Paulo RETRE ***Two to be omitted*** Ins: 17.Jason HOFFMAN (returns from injury), 10.Harry Kewell (Returns from injury) Outs: Nil Unavailable: 4 Orlando ENGELAAR (Fractured tibia - long-term), 9.Dylan MACALLISTER (Hamstring - ~2-3 weeks), 10. Harry KEWELL (ankle), 13.Jonatan GERMANO (Hamstring - ~1 weeks)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (go) (c), 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.JERONIMO, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 12.Antony GOLEC, 13.Steven LUSTICA, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Michael ZULLO, 19.Jake BARKER-DAISH, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 30.John HALL (gk) ***One to be omitted*** Ins: 12.Antony GOLEC (promoted), 19.Jake BARKER-DAISH (promoted) Outs: 6.CASSIO (hamstring tendon - TBC) Unavailable: 4.Jon McKAIN (illness - 1 week), 16.Daniel BOWLES (ankle - 2 weeks), 20.Paul IZZO (go) (adductor - 2 weeks)