Melbourne Heart FC will take on the Hyundai A-League’s best when it faces the Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park tonight.
Melbourne Heart FC v Central Coast Mariners Wednesday 18 January AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-off: 7:30pm
Melbourne Heart FC will take on the Hyundai A-League-s best when it faces the Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park tonight.
After embarking on a club record five-match winning streak, Heart has stumbled in recent weeks, earning a solitary point from its last three outings.
However, Heart will be keen to atone for its recent form when it takes on the Mariners, who recorded a hard-fought 3-1 win the last time the two sides met back in November.
With youngster Eli Babalj rested from the match, Heart will look to the incoming David Williams for offensive inspiration as the two-time Socceroo makes his return to the match day squad.
While Williams has been used sparsely in recent weeks, his absence has been largely due to the red hot form of Mate Dugandzic, Rutger Worm and Babalj, who together, have formed one of the most menacing attacking triumvirates in the competition.
The Mariners meanwhile will be bolstered by the return of Pedj Bojic and Rostyn Griffiths, arguably the Central Coast-s two leading performers this season.
A marauding right-back, Bojic-s goal scoring exploits make him a threat from deep, while Griffiths offers a steadying influence in the middle of the park.
26 November 2011 - Central Coast Mariners 3 Melbourne Heart FC 1 @ Bluetongue Stadium 4 February 2011 - Melbourne Heart FC 1 Central Coast Mariners 1 @ AAMI Park 10 September 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 1 Melbourne Heart FC 0 @ Bluetongue Stadium
Heart: WWLDL Mariners: WDWWD
Mustafa Amini - The midfield maestro has come into his own in recent months, demonstrating the quality which saw him earn a transfer to Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund. His telepathic-like understanding with fellow youngster Bernie Ibini makes the duo a challenging proposition for any defence.
Fact of the Week
The Central Coast Mariners have scored in every single meeting with Melbourne Heart FC
Melbourne Heart FC: 1.Clint Bolton (GK), 2.Michael Marrone, 3.Brendan Hamill, 6.Matt Thompson (C), 7.Rutger Worm, 8.Kristian Sarkies, 9.Maycon, 11.Alex Terra, 13.Jonatan Germano, 15.David Williams, 16.Aziz Behich, 17.Jason Hoffman, 18.Curtis Good, 23.Mate Dugandzic, 30.Sebastian Mattei (GK)
In: David Williams (promoted) Out: Eli Babalj (rested)
Unavailable: Simon Colosimo (knee - 1 week), Nick Kalmar (back - 4 weeks), Kliment Taseski (foot - 4 to 6 weeks), Fred (groin - 4 to 6 weeks), Wayne Srhoj (quad - 1 week)
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson, 8. Rostyn Griffiths, 9. Bernie Ibini, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 12. Troy Hearfield, 14. Michael McGlinchey, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 18. Alex Wilkinson, 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk), 22. Mustafa Amini, 23. Adam Kwasnik *one to be omitted*
In: 4. Pedj Bojic (returns from suspension), 8. Rostyn Griffiths (returns from injury) Out: 5. Brad Porter