Frank Farina's flagging Sydney FC outfit have been given a massive festive boost with marquee men Alessandro Del Piero and Brett Emerton set to bolster the attack for a Boxing Day clash against table toppers Brisbane Roar.
"If they're not ready tomorrow I'm not sure twenty four hours will make a big difference but I'm quietly confident they might be there," hinted Farina with a knowing smirk at Sydney training on Monday.
"We'll make a decision most probably tomorrow as to whether they'll be available."
Del Piero missed the 1-0 loss to Wellington last weekend due to lower back tightness, having been was unable to return after half-time in the unconvincing 2-1 win over Melbourne Heart the week before.
Emerton, who made his return from several weeks on the sideline with a leg injury against the Heart, also failed to back up against the Phoenix, leaving Farina short of attacking options.
"I think we let ourselves down more so in the final third, made some wrong decisions, bad passes and then got caught on the counter so we've look at it and hopefully we get better," continued the coach.
It was the third time 39-year-old Del Piero has missed a full match this season, having failed to complete a match through injury on three further occasions.
Yet Farina refuses to concede the continued absence of his star performer is causing him a headache.
"No, it's not frustrating, it's not a distraction, it's football. It's life at football clubs," he said.
"We're not the only ones that go through it so it's just part and parcel of what we do."
Brisbane go into the clash coming off four wins in the last five and will be deserved favourite to take all three point away from Allianz stadium.
And Farina, for one, knows what his side is up against and what he wants from the cluster of festive matches.
"They're a very mobile side and they have players that can hurt you," continued Farina.
"Thomas Brioch is arguably one of the best, if not the best, player in the league in the last two or three years so you combine all those things together and you've got a formidable side.
"I think if you want to be pushing to stay up the top now is an important time for everyone to keep collecting points and we're no different from the rest.”
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