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  • 28 October 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • AAMI Park, Melbourne
  • Referee: C. Beath
  • • Attendance: 6357

A-League preview: Melbourne Heart v Central Coast Mariners

A-League preview: Melbourne Heart v Central Coast Mariners


Heart will be happy to be back on home turf after last Sunday's bruiser in Perth, but they face another tough assignment against the Central Coast Mariners Indonesia   By GOAL.COM


Marrone, Gerhardt, Colosimo, Behich
Fred, Garcia, Thompson
Williams, Macallister, Dugandzic


Bojic, Sainsbury, Zwaanswijk, Rose
Montogomery, Hutchinson, Rogic,
McGlinchley, Ibini, Sterjovski

Outmuscled and outfought in the Perth sunshine last Sunday, Melbourne Heart travel back to the colder climes of their home city looking for an immediate reprieve against the Central Coast Mariners.

Mariners boss Graham Arnold will have watched with interest as Glory ground down Heart over the 90 minutes in Week 3, eventually killing the game off with an 86th-minute goal from Billy Mehmet.

Heart coach John Aloisi will expect another physically demanding game against a combative Central Coast side, and the midfield battle may prove crucial in determining the outcome of the contest.

Heart's midfield were outplayed by Jacob Burns, Steven McGarry and Liam Miller last Sunday, and Aloisi will hope Fred, Richard Garcia and Matt Thompson can perform a little better against a side with similar structure.

Heart welcome back central defender Simon Colosimo after he served his one-match suspension, and Fred is expected to start despite being taken off at half-time against Glory after a blow to the eye.

The hosts now have one of Australia's greatest midfielders Vince Grella on their books, but there is doubt over his match fitness and he may not make his debut for some weeks.

Central Coast, meanwhile, have struggled for goals this season, and Graeme Arnold's constant tinkering with his team's striking partnerships suggests he is aware of this.

Arnold has not started the same set of attackers in consecutive games this season, preferring to use a combination of Bernie Ibini-Isei, Mile Sterjovski, Mitchell Duke and Tomas Rogic.

Heart possess the more potent forward options, with Mate Dugandzic and Aziz Behich providing pace and delivery on the wings for strikers Dylan Macallister - formerly of the Mariners - and David Williams.

But these creative players could be rendered obsolete if Heart's central midfielders fail to win enough of the ball.

Aloisi will be without Golgol Mebrahtu and Jonatan Germano for Sunday's clash, while Central Coast welcome midfielders Adriano Pellegrino and Oliver Bozanic back into the fold.

Heart's inconsistency plagued them last season, and they will look to put an mixed start to this season behind them with a strong performance against a Mariners side that are struggling to find the back of the net.

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Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Melbourne City

Central Coast Mariners


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Melbourne City FC MCT
Melbourne City FC Melbourne City
Central Coast Mariners FC CCM
Central Coast Mariners FC Central Coast Mariners

Top 3 Predictions

Melbourne City FC MCT
1 - 1
Central Coast Mariners FC CCM
Melbourne City FC MCT
3 - 3
Central Coast Mariners FC CCM
Melbourne City FC MCT
1 - 2
Central Coast Mariners FC CCM