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  • 9 February 2013
  • • 17:30
  • • AAMI Park, Melbourne
  • Referee: A. Milliner
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A-League preview: Melbourne Heart v Perth Glory

A-League preview: Melbourne Heart v Perth Glory

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Neither side is short on desperation going into this match, so who will bolster their A-League finals chances at AAMI Park on Saturday?

GOAL.com Indonesia   By GOAL AUSTRALIA

  PROBABLE LINEUP

MELBOURNE HEART

Redmayne
Walker, Gerhardt, Vrankovic, Coyne
Germano, Garcia, Thompson
Williams, Babalj, Mebrahtu

PERTH GLORY

Vukovic
Risdon, Clisby, Thwaite, Heffernan
Dodd, Miller, Burns, Ward
McGarry, Smeltz
The previous nine encounters between the Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory have all followed a pattern - the first three were draws, the next three were away wins while the past three have been home victories.

What will the next trio of Heart-Glory matches hold?

Both sides will be hungry for a win to bolster their finals aspirations, however it is Heart who will have more realistic reasons to believe they can make the top six than Glory - even though they are only separated by just two points on the A-League table.

Glory have no confidence in front of goal, with injuries preventing any first-team consistency.  They are expecting to see star striker Shane Smeltz return to the XI on Saturday, however, while the signing of Argentine Matias Cordoba - set to feature from the bench - also provides hope.

Smeltz has scored three of Perth's past four goals, earning them a draw with Sydney FC, while his late penalty was the only consolation against Adelaide.

Perth should improve from their loss in Wellington, after Liam Miller, Dean Heffernan and Josh Risdon all returned last week and will be better for the run.

Heffernan should push for a start at left-back in place of Scott Jamieson, who misses with foot complaint.  Jacob Burns continues to struggle with a back injury and cannot be called upon.

Heart have their own problems up front, with Josip Tadic ruled out due to a toe injury.

Having returned from overseas, Eli Babalj will now hold the responsibility in front of goal.

Their defence, though, has been bolstered by the addition of former Glory defender Jamie Coyne, who could come straight into the matchday squad to thwart his old club.

Coyne will try to fill the hole vacated by Sam Mitchinson [quad strain], with Simon Colosimo [calf] still out and Aziz Behich and Michael Marrone having departed overseas.

Heart are weakened further by the absence of Fred [quads] and the long-term absentee Mate Dugandzic [foot].

Dylan Macallister returns from injury, however, as does Jason Hoffman from suspension.

Neither team have troubled the scorers with great effect this season, but one never knows what to expect in the A-League.

Hence, a nine-goal thriller could be just around the corner, especially with the unsettled line-ups these two clubs have been producing of late.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
20Andrew RedmayneGoalkeeper
6Patrick Nyema GerhardtDefender
18David VrankovicDefender
-Jeremy WalkerDefender
3Jamie CoyneDefender
18Matt ThompsonMidfielder
14Richard GarciaMidfielder
13Jonathan GermanoMidfielder
22Nicholas KalmarMidfielder
15David WilliamsStriker
-Eli BabaljStriker
1BoltonGoalkeeper
17Jason HoffmanStriker
11Dylan MacallisterStriker
-Gol-Gol MebrahtuStriker
1Danny VukovicGoalkeeper
-Jack ClisbyDefender
4Steve PantelidisDefender
16Dean HeffernanDefender
19Joshua RisdonDefender
-Michael ThwaiteDefender
33Liam MillerMidfielder
14Steven McGarryMidfielder
9Shane SmeltzStriker
13Travis DoddMidfielder
-Chris HaroldStriker
-Lewis ItalianoGoalkeeper
22Nick WardMidfielder
9Ryo NagaiStriker
-Matías Jesús CórdobaMidfielder

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