Alessandro Del Piero hasn't scored since round 7. Picture: Mark Evans/news.com.au
Sydney FC will be bidding for just its second win in six matches when it welcomes Melbourne Heart to Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Despite show grit and determination to come from behind and collect a point against Perth last weekend, the Sky Blues remain anchored to the bottom of the table but are just four points behind sixth placed Heart. Now well and truly into the second half of the season, these are the games that Sydney must win if they are going to make the finals.
Frank Farina has a couple of important players available for selection after recovering from injury and could throw them straight into his starting side. Brazilian fullback Fabio and attacker Yairo Yau have both been need in Sydney’s squad after training strongly during the week, but Pascal Bosschaart remains sidelined with a calf injury. The return of Fabio will be particularly crucial given that the side has conceded five goals in the past two weeks, while Farina will also want to see Alessandro Del Piero on the scoresheet to end a goalless drought stretching back to November 16.
Melbourne Heart will be without winger David Williams, who picked up a one match ban for his red card in Melbourne’s 3-2 16. Two consecutive wins have lifted John Aloisi’s side into a playoff place, but with matches against three of the top four sides in coming weeks, they can’t afford to take their foot off the pedal. Scoring goals hasn’t been a problem for the Heart in recent weeks, with seven goals in the past three matches, including two in as many weeks for Josip Tadic .
Since their introduction to the A-League two and half season’s ago, Melbourne Heart has had the wood over Sydney FC, never losing in seven matches between the sides. The 0-0 draw at this ground on December 2 last year was the fifth time that a clash between the clubs had ended all square , while they have also twice beaten the Sky Blues.
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