It is all or nothing for the Glory and the Heart at nib Stadium, with history being made at both clubs. It will come as scant consolation for the loser, however...
Risdon, Pantelidis, Van den Brink, Risdon
Dodd, Burns, McGarry, Andrezinho
Marrone, Good, Hamill, Behich
Germano, Srhoj, Fred, Thompson
Perth Glory host Melbourne Heart on Sunday at nib Stadium in the second of the elimination finals in what is a historic game for several reasons.
After seven years of the A-League, Perth Glory finally get to host a final, and the chance to host another the week after if they defeat the Heart.
Their opponents, meanwhile, who are just two years old, are competing in their first-ever finals series.
With a 1-1 draw against Adelaide United on Friday and Sydney FC's defeat of Newcastle Jets, Heart eventually finished in sixth on the table, despite being as high as second leading into the 2012.
Winning just twice since the turn of the year, Heart scraped into the finals, finishing one point above seventh-placed Newcastle.
But Heart have gone six matches without defeat - a statistic which should give them hope heading to the west, despite the last four games finishing as draws.
Perth Glory, meanwhile, have been on a great run leading into the finals, winning nine games since the start of the year.
Out of their three defeats in 2012, only one has been at home and that was against the reigning champions Brisbane Roar.
The last time these two sides met at nib Stadium, in December, Melbourne Heart secured a 2-1 win, with goals from Matt Thompson and Mate Dugandzic. It is a result which remains their only win over the Glory to date.
Perth have had the edge over the Heart since they came into the league, with both victories over the Melbourne side coming at AAMI Park.
The Glory finished off their regular with a 4-2 win over Heart's rivals Melbourne Victory, thanks to four goals from Shane Smeltz on Saturday.
Jacob Burns, Liam Miller, Bas van den Brink and Josh Mitchell all missed the game due to injury, and along with Dean Heffernan all are expected to return on Sunday.
In what could be Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip's final game in charge of the club, he will be missing experienced defender Simon Colosimo due to a hamstring injury sustained at training. Teenager Brendan Hamill is expected to replace the former captain in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
In a game where there must be a winner, it is sure to be a thrilling encounter, and penalties may just be needed to separate these two sides.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Perth Glory have the second-worst defensive record of the six teams in the finals, conceding 35 goals this season.
- Despite that, Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has had more clean sheets than any other shot-stopper in the league this campaign.
- Eli Babalj scored his ninth goal of the season on Friday, breaking John Aloisi's record of most goals scored in a season for Melbourne Heart.
- Every game between these two sides this season has finished 2-1 to the away side.
- Melbourne Heart are the only A-League team to never have lost a game over in Perth.