Plenty is on the line for both sides at AAMI Park, with Heart keen to sew up a finals spot and Phoenix eyeing a place in the A-League's top two
Marrone, Good, Colosimo, Behich
Dugandzic, Fred, Srhoj, Thompson, Germano
Muscat, Durante, Sigmund, Lia
Smith, Brown, Sanchez, Bertos
Melbourne Heart know they have the chance to move just two points behind Wellington Phoenix today when the two sides clash at AAMI Park on Saturday.
Heart sit fifth on the table, with 34 points, and a win against third-placed Phoenix could possibly move them up to fourth and all-but seal a finals spot.
Clint Bolton was the hero in last Friday's admirable 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar, saving a 93rd-minute penalty from Roar defender Mohamed Adnan after Curtis Good had cancelled out Mitch Nichols’ first-half effort.
After eight straight games without a win, Heart have not lost in their past three, including two 1-0 home wins.
Melbourne Heart manager John van 't Schip will be content to still have an almost full-squad to pick from, with Kristian Sarkies [quad] the only player unavailable.
Heart and the Phoenix have shared the spoils in the two occasions the sides have met this season, with the most recent battle finishing 3-1 to the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on January 29.
Despite being six points off from first-place Central Coast Mariners, Wellington Phoenix are still in the hunt to finish top if the Mariners recent form is anything to go by.
Wellington Phoenix go into the encounter coming off a 2-0 win over strugglers Gold Coast United on Sunday and a 1-0 win away to Sydney FC in Week 21.
Coach Ricki Herbert also has a close to full-squad to choose from, with only Daniel Cortes, long-term knee victim Lucas Pantelis and Jimmy Downey on the injury list.
A win for Phoenix will guarantee a top-six finish, while a win for Heart will almost definitely ensure them finals football for the first time.
It is another mouth-watering clash at the business end of the season, and one that promises to deliver.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Nick Ward's goal against Gold Coast United on Sunday was the 13th in his A-League career.
- Wellington Phoenix have made the finals in the past two seasons.
- Melbourne Heart have picked up just 10 out of a possible 33 points in 2012.
- In the five games that Fred has played in 2012, Heart have picked up eight points out of a possible 15.
- Wellington have conceded the most goals this season between the 41st-45th and 86th-90th minutes of a game.