Heart will face a tough task attempting to keep their unbeaten start to the season intact, with the Glory - minus Smeltz - and keen to bounce back after their loss to the Mariners
|By WILLIAM VALLELY
Risdon, Thwaite, Pantelidis, Heffernan
Zahra, Miller, Burns, Nagai
Marrone, Gerhardt, Vrankovic, Behich
Fred, Garcia, Thompson
Williams, Macallister, Dugandzic
Melbourne Heart travel to Perth following a disappointing home result against a weakened Wellington Phoenix side last Sunday.
Heart will face a sterner test from last season’s grand finalists on Sunday, and will have to do it without the experience of suspended defender Simon Colosimo.
Colosimo was sent off for handling the ball in Heart's draw against the Pheonix, though his absence could have been amplified further if A-League goal-machine Shane Smeltz was not missing for Perth.
Smeltz returned from international duty with New Zealand nursing a hamstring strain, and he will miss at least two matches.
Heart will breathe a sigh of relief, as the prolific hitman seems to enjoy taking on the visitors.
Given Perth's strong home form - undefeated in the last three - Heart coach John Aloisi will hope David Williams and Dylan Macallister can make the most of the limited opportunities they are expected to get, or he may be forced to consider pulling the boots back on himself.
Ian Ferguson has included former Heart midfielder Adrian Zahra in the squad for Sunday's game.
Zahra has not featured in Glory’s first two games, and perhaps the chance to impress his ex-employers may encourage Ferguson to give the winger a spot among the substitutes.
As well as Smeltz, Glory are without defender Bas van den Brink, who is set to be replaced in the XI by Steve Pantelidis.
Utility Evan Berger is still six weeks away from full fitness.
For Heart, Jonatan Germano is still searching for the required fitness to force his way back into Aloisi's plans.
With an array of attacking talents on display, goals are expected in this exciting clash between two teams looking to consolidate on their promising starts to the season.