All eyes will be on what effect the former Australia coach can have on the Sky Blues, though the visiting Heart need the points almost as much as the hosts
|By PAUL GOUGH
Former Socceroos manager Frank Farina is being tipped to make a winning start to his new job at Sydney FC when the Sky Blues host struggling Melbourne Heart on Sunday.
The Sky Blues have endured a disastrous 2012-13 season to date and Farina is incredibly the club's fourth coach in their past nine games, if you include Vitezslav Lavicka's farewell game in charge from last season.
Ian Crook lasted just six games this season before quitting, with former captain Steve Corica in charge for the past two games on a caretaker basis.
The Sky Blues are rock bottom after eight matches with just two wins and a total of six points in a season in which so much was expected of them following the signing of Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero.
But despite the former Juventus star more than living up to his reputation, Sydney have lost their past four games and conceded 16 goals in that period.
However, the appointment of Farina, combined with facing a struggling opposition - the Heart have won just one of their past seven matches - has seen Sydney FC installed as the $2.38 favourites with Betfair for Sunday's home game, with the visitors Heart at $3.10.
But the Heart, under coach John Aloisi, have shown glimpses this season. They did score three times in a draw with Newcastle last Saturday and are certainly capable of troubling a shaky Sydney defence.
Farina, who failed as both Socceroos manager and was sacked by the Brisbane Roar in 2009 in his previous A-League stint, is hardly an inspired choice as Sydney FC's new manager and will be given little time by the club's impatient fans to begin improving results.
And the Sky Blues, who are even shorter priced favourites for this game at $2.25 with Centrebet and $2.20 at sportsbet.com.au, are a huge risk betting wise in this match given their current form and instability.
The draw instead looks great value at $3.40 at Centrebet and sportsbet.com.au and best odds of $3.50 with Betfair.
|Wellington Phoenix to beat Western Sydney at $1.80 at Betfair
||Sydney FC and Melbourne Heart to draw at $3.50 at Betfair|
In the other game on Sunday, Wellington Phoenix will relish the return to home after four away matches from their past five games when they take on the Western Sydney Wanderers.
However, the most recent two of those resulted in a great win at Newcastle and a gallant draw in Perth, and Ricki Herbert's team should replace the Wanderers in the top six by winning this match.
*Note prices subject to change