A-League preview: Melbourne Heart v Brisbane Roar
Both rookie coaches have struggled for results early in the season, adding further importance to Friday's match at AAMI Park in Melbourne
|By KIERAN JONES
Marrone, Gerhardt, Colosimo, Behich
Dugandzic, Garcia, Thompson
Williams, Macallister, Tadic
Hingert, Smith, Jurman, Stefanutto
Murdocca, Paartalu, NicholsHalloran, Berisha, Broich
It is a battle of the embattled coaches at AAMI Park on Friday, as Melbourne Heart look to stop their slide down the A-League table and Brisbane Roar seek to reverse their bad start to the season.
Few pundits would have predicted the duo would have occupied the bottom two spots after five weeks, particularly the reigning champions.
The Heart have played uninspired football in the since their win against Melbourne Victory in Week 1, and will not be happy with anything less than a win at home.
Despite John Aloisi's relatively measured responses to media inquiries about their attacking options, the pressure is building after what was a superb start to the campaign.
Aloisi will be desperate to get former Australia international Vince Grella into his side but will resist the urge to rush him, while he is unlikely to regain Fred from a hamstring problem for the bottom-of-the-table clash.
Sam Mitchinson got a surprise start last week, but Aloisi hinted on Thursday he may turn to experience against the Roar, perhaps paving the way for David Williams and Dylan Macallister to win starts.
The match is of vital importance to both managers, and should open up to be an attacking affair as their sides seek a win to lift themselves up the ladder.
Roar coach Rado Vidosic was dealt a cruel blow last Sunday when son Dario scored the only goal of the game in Brisbane's 1-0 loss to Adelaide United.
Vidosic said he was happy with the amount of chances the Roar had created in the game, but unfortunately it is only the goals which count.
The Roar has not won a game away from home this season after trips to Wellington and Perth, while Heart has not won at AAMI Park this campaign.
And in a real blow to the visitors' chances, Besart Berisha is out with a mystery abdominal injury and has been replaced in the squad by Rocky Visconte.
Ben Halloran, who missed the loss to Adelaide, appears to be his likely replacement.
The Roar's pass-heavy game plan which worked so well under Ange Postecoglou has suffered somewhat under the weight of opposition pressure this season, and Vidosic needs to find a way to get players like Thomas Broich and Massimo Murdocca back to their best.
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Top 3 Predictions
Melbourne Heart 2-1 Brisbane Roar
- 21.05 %
Melbourne Heart 2-0 Brisbane Roar
- 10.53 %
Melbourne Heart 1-3 Brisbane Roar
- 8.77 %
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||03/11/2013||Brisbane Roar 3 - Melbourne Heart 0|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||24/03/2013||Brisbane Roar 2 - Melbourne Heart 0|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||06/01/2013||Melbourne Heart 3 - Brisbane Roar 2|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||09/11/2012||Melbourne Heart 4 - Brisbane Roar 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||02/03/2012||Brisbane Roar 1 - Melbourne Heart 1|
|07/12/2013||Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Melbourne Heart 1||AUS1|
|01/12/2013||Melbourne Heart 3 - Adelaide United 3||AUS1|
|24/11/2013||Newcastle Jets 3 - Melbourne Heart 1||AUS1|
|15/11/2013||Melbourne Heart 0 - Sydney FC 2||AUS1|
|08/11/2013||Melbourne Heart 0 - Western Sydney Wanderers 1||AUS1|
|6||Patrick Nyema Gerhardt||Defender|