A-League preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne Heart
Sydney FC will have new coach Frank Farina on the touchline for the visit of Heart, but will his arrival be enough to inspire the battling Sky Blues?
Ryall, Bosschaart, Griffiths, FabioAbbas, Culina, McFlynn
Chianese, Del Piero, Yau
Vrankovic, Gerhardt, Colosimo, Mitchinson
Thompson, Fred, Hoffman
Williams, Tadic, Garuccio
Sydney have never beaten Heart in their short history of the A-League, and the last time the Melbourne team visited Allianz Stadium they came away with a thumping 4-0 win.
If Farina cannot lift his troops, something similar could happen on Sunday, given the Sky Blues' horror form that has stretched to four losses in succession after their 2-1 defeat to Adelaide last Friday.
The new boss will have to do without two of his most influential players, with Brett Emerton and Terry Antonis both absent on Socceroos duty.
Joel Chianese, Jason Culina, Paul Reid and Rhyan Grant are all options to come into the starting side.
Heart would have been disappointed to throw away an early two-goal lead against the Jets last Saturday to eventually draw 3-3.
The result means they missed the opportunity to move back into the top six and places huge importance on this clash for both sides.
Heart have also been hit hard by selection for Holger Osieck's Australia squad, with in-form Richard Garcia and full-backs Michael Marrone and Aziz Behich all dropping out.
Sam Mitchinson should take one of those full-back positions, while Irish defender Steven Gray could make his first Heart appearance if he wins the nod over David Vrankovic.
Nick Kalmar and Ben Garuccio lead the candidates to fill the void left by Garcia.
How often does it happen that, when a new coach comes in, the team that was previously struggling to get results manages to conjure up a victory?
Farina's appointment is sure to shake things up at the Sky Blues, with the former Socceroos boss not afraid to ruffle his players' feathers.
If anything, Sydney FC should be better organised and have a steelier streak with Farina at the helm.
But the Heart will fancy their chances against a nervy Sky Blues outfit, in a race for three points that is crucial for both sides.
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Top 3 Predictions
Sydney FC 4-0 Melbourne Heart
- 17.39 %
Sydney FC 2-2 Melbourne Heart
- 13.04 %
Sydney FC 2-1 Melbourne Heart
- 13.04 %
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||31/01/2014||Melbourne Heart 2 - Sydney FC 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||15/12/2013||Sydney FC 2 - Melbourne Heart 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||15/11/2013||Melbourne Heart 0 - Sydney FC 2|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||24/02/2013||Melbourne Heart 3 - Sydney FC 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||13/01/2013||Sydney FC 2 - Melbourne Heart 1|
|08/03/2014||Sydney FC 3 - Western Sydney Wanderers 1||AUS1|
|01/03/2014||Central Coast Mariners 2 - Sydney FC 1||AUS1|
|22/02/2014||Newcastle Jets 0 - Sydney FC 2||AUS1|
|15/02/2014||Sydney FC 2 - Perth Glory 1||AUS1|
|08/02/2014||Sydney FC 0 - Adelaide United 3||AUS1|
|-||Alessandro Del Piero||Striker|
|6||Patrick Nyema Gerhardt||Defender|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed