Match Preview - Heart v Gold Coast

Melbourne Heart FC will look to return to the winners list when it faces Gold Coast United at Skilled Park in Robina today.

Gold Coast United v Melbourne Heart FC Skilled Park, Robina Sunday 8 January Kick-off: 6:30pm

Melbourne Heart FC will look to return to the winners list when it faces Gold Coast United at Skilled Park in Robina today.

After falling to Adelaide United in an upset result midweek, Heart head coach John van ‘t Schip has been forced to make changes to his squad with Simon Colosimo and the departing Adrian Madaschi ruled out of action.

While their loss has been tempered by the return of talismanic captain Fred, van ‘t Schip faces a tough challenge to fill the void left by the experienced defensive duo, with the teenage pairing of Curtis Good and Brendan Hamill set to be fielded at the back, flanked by Aziz Behich and Michael Marrone.

Although Heart claimed a 2-1 win over Gold Coast United when the sides last met in November, Miron Bleiberg-s outfit are markedly different proposition this time around, with his emerging brood of youngsters beginning to provide glimpses of its stunning potential.

Heart though isn-t without fledgling stars of its own, as Eli Babalj and Mate Dugandzic demonstrated once again on Wednesday despite the side-s 1-3 defeat.

Fielded alongside Rutger Worm as part of an attacking trident, Babalj and Dugandzic represent arguably the most exciting strike force in the Hyundai A-League, having netted 10 goals between them this season.

Previous Meetings

18 November 2011 - Gold Coast United 1 Melbourne Heart FC 2 @ Skilled Park 19 January 2011 - Melbourne Heart FC 1 Gold Coast United 1 @ AAMI Park 5 December 2010 - Gold Coast United 3 Melbourne Heart FC 0 @ Skilled Park

Player To Watch

Ben Halloran - The 19-year-old striker has emerged as one of the most exciting talents in the Hyundai A-League this season, scoring during Gold Coast United-s 2-3 loss to the Newcastle Jets.

Fact of the Week

Aziz Behich co-leads the Hyundai A-League in goal assists this season with five.

Squads

Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1.Clint Bolton, 2.Michael Marrone, 3.Brendan Hamill, 5.Fred, 6.Matt Thompson, 7.Rutger Worm, 8.Kristian Sarkies, 11.Alex Terra, 15. David Williams, 16.Aziz Behich, 17.Jason Hoffman, 18.Curtis Good, 19.Eli Babalj, 23.Mate Dugandzic, 30.Sebastian Mattei.

Gold Coast United squad: 20.Jerrad Tyson (gk), 3.Michael Thwaite (c), 5.Kristian Rees, 6.Paul Beekmans, 7.Golgol Mebrahtu, 13.Ante Rozic, 14.Ben Halloran, 15.Adama Traore, 16.Maceo Rigters, 17.Chris Harold, 18.James Brown, 21.Daniel Severino, 22.Peter Jungschlager, 23.Dylan McGowan, 24.Jonas Salley, 28.Daniel Bowles, 29.Mitch Bevan, 31.Daniel Bragg, 40.Chris O-Connor (gk) *four to be omitted*