Melbourne Heart have no points to spare in their race to the A-League finals, but find a tough test in their path at AAMI Park on Saturday in the form of Western Sydney
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Walker, Vrankovic, Colosimo, CoyneGarcia, Fred, Thompson, Kalmar
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Polenz, T-Stanley, Beauchamp, D'Apuzzo
Hersi, La Rocca, Poljak, MooyKresinger, Bridge
Heart's play-off hopes were left hanging by a thread after their disastrous 0-2 home loss to Adelaide on Monday - a result that saw them slump to ninth spot in the standings.
Ironically, Heart's solid home record throughout the campaign has stood them in good stead in their fight to remain in the play-off spots.
Heart coach John Aloisi will have to cajole his troops for the visit of all-conquering Western Sydney and captain Fred is poised to start after being relegated to the bench in the last few weeks.
Nevertheless, their goal-shy strike-force has been a recurring theme for Heart in recent weeks, especially evident in their recent loss to the Reds.
Heart created numerous chances but failed to convert them before finding themselves on the losing end to Adelaide.
Western Sydney Wanderers, however, have no such problems and created history last Sunday after becoming the first side to win nine straight matches.
The A-League's recent addition are sitting at the top of the standings with 50 points and chasing the Premiers' Plate.
Marquee signing Shinji Ono, who is in the squad, is unlikely to be risked against Heart after the former Feyenoord playmaker tweaked his hamstring against the Phoenix last weekend.
Winger Tahj Minniecon remains sidelined with a foot problem.
Tony Popovic's charges beat Heart in their two previous meetings this season, with former Japan international Ono dispatching a late penalty in their 1-0 victory in their most recent match in January.
Heart will do well to pay special attention to Ethiopia-born Dutchman Youssouf Hersi. The attacking midfielder's personal winning run stands at an incredible 14 matches and the home side will have to deal with his searing pace and repertoire of skills.