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  • 14 October 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • AAMI Park, Melbourne
  • Referee: K. Griffiths-Jones
  • • Attendance: 10097

A-League preview: Melbourne Heart v Wellington Phoenix

A-League preview: Melbourne Heart v Wellington Phoenix


The Phoenix are missing a raft of first-team players, with Melbourne Heart eyeing another three points after Week 1's superb win over their city rivals Victory Indonesia   By GOAL.COM


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


Lindsay, Durante, Boxall, Rowe
Lia, Muscat, Smith
Fenton, Huysegems, Ifill

Both teams head into this contest full of confidence on the back of their Week 1 victories against fancied opposition.

Heart grabbed a stunning 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory in the derby at Etihad Stadium, while Wellington ruined Alessandro Del Piero's A-League debut with a convincing 2-0 win against Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium.

Heart were desperate from the outset against Victory, pressuring Ange Postecoglou's men at every opportunity and capitalising on their chances in front of goal.

Phoenix were resolute in front of their home supporters, sticking to Ricki Herbert's system and benefiting from goals from debutants, Belgian Stein Huysegems and local teenager Louis Fenton.

With a host of injuries and absentees due to international duty, Wellington are expected to blood academy goalkeeper Scott Basalaj - should be be passed fully fit after illness, with short-term signing Jacob Spoonley on standby - and defender Luke Rowe, as well as uncapped squad members Michael Boxall and Cameron Lindsay.

Academy duo Hamish Watson and Tom Biss could also feature off the bench, while Vince Lia is set to play some part after returning from injury.

Heart, on the other hand, have almost a full squad to choose from, with Argentine Jonatan Germano [fitness] and Golgol Mebrahtu [groin] their only concerns.

John Aloisi's decision to combine Dylan Macallister, Mate Dugandzic and David Williams up front paid instant dividends against the Victory as the trio executed the direct game plan with class and authority.

Macallister held the ball up well with wide men Dugandzic and Williams pushing forward at every opportunity.

If the attacking options can continue to ge, they will become one of the league's most formidable threats.

Wellington's list of absentees is long.  Herbert and his New Zealand internationals Leo Bertos, Tony Lochhead, Jeremy Brockie, Ben Sigmund, Mark Paston and Glen Moss are missing to face Tahiti in a pair of World Cup qualifiers, while Benjamin Totori has been called up for Solomon Islands.

With Lucas Pantelis, Jimmy Downey, Dani Sanchez and Mirjan Pavlovic unavailable through injury, Wellington will field a completely different line-up, managed by assistant Chris Greenacre, goalkeeper coach Jonathan Gould and strength and conditioning coach Chris Baranowski.

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Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Melbourne City

Wellington Phoenix


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Melbourne City FC MCT
Melbourne City FC Melbourne City
Wellington Phoenix FC WEL
Wellington Phoenix FC Wellington Phoenix

Top 3 Predictions

Melbourne City FC MCT
3 - 1
Wellington Phoenix FC WEL
Melbourne City FC MCT
0 - 3
Wellington Phoenix FC WEL
Melbourne City FC MCT
4 - 0
Wellington Phoenix FC WEL