Match Preview - Heart v Phoenix

Melbourne Heart FC will look to reignite its charge towards the top-two when the side faces Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium today.

Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Heart FC Sunday 29 January Westpac Stadium, Wellington Kick-off: 2:30pm

Melbourne Heart FC will look to reignite its charge towards the top-two when the side faces Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium today.

While the Red and White have struggled to grab a win in recent weeks, strong performances against Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners were enough to suggest three points lie very near on the horizon.

With Head Coach John van ‘t Schip naming an unchanged squad from the side which was held to a 1-1 draw by the Roar at home, the Ajax legend has kept faith in the side which more than held its own in the stalemate.

The decision means midfielder Wayne Srhoj and attacker Jason Hoffman remain on the sidelines, emphasising the strength in depth at van ‘t Schip-s disposal.

Having recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wellington in last meeting with the Kiwi-outfit in December, Heart will be keen to maintain its advantage over the Phoenix, particular given the side lies a point ahead in third spot on the table.

Suffice to say then that the stakes have never been higher, with maximum points the only goal on Heart-s agenda, as the side seeks to not only keep pace with the league leaders, but to remain in the hunt for a double chance in the finals and likely berth in the AFC Champions League in 2013.

Recent Form

Heart: LDLLD Phoenix: LWLWW

Previous Meetings

4 December 2011 - Melbourne Heart FC 1 Wellington Phoenix 0 @ Latrobe City Stadium, Morwell 24 November 2010 - Wellington Phoenix 2 Melbourne Heart FC 0 @ Westpac Stadium, Wellington 17 October 2010 - Wellington Phoenix 2 Melbourne Heart FC 2 @ Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Player To Watch

Paul Ifill - Undoubtedly Wellington Phoenix-s leading performer, Paul Ifill talismanic contribution to Ricki Herbert-s side cannot be understated, with his strength and oft-ignored pace making him one of the leading players in the competition.

Fact Of The Week

Wellington Phoenix have only lost twice in its last 11 matches played during January.

Squads

Melbourne Heart FC squad: 1.Clint Bolton, 2.Michael Marrone, 3.Brendan Hamill, 4.Simon Colosimo, 6.Matt Thompson, 7.Rutger Worm, 8.Kristian Sarkies, 11.Alex Terra, 13.Jonatan Germano, 15.David Williams, 16.Aziz Behich, 18.Curtis Good, 19.Eli Babalj, 23.Mate Dugandzic, 30.Sebastian Mattei

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark Paston (GK), 2. Manny Muscat, 3. Tony Lochhead, 6. Tim Brown, 7. Leo Bertos, 8. Paul Ifill, 9. Chris Greenacre, 11. Daniel, 12. Nicky Ward, 15. Cameron Lindsay, 18. Ben Sigmund, 19. Jimmy Downey, 20, Tony Warner (GK), 21. Dani Sanchez, 22. Andrew Durante (C), 24. Alex Smith *one to be omitted*