Kewell Key To Heart's Fortunes

Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Getty Images
Harry Kewell has missed the last three games for Heart. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/Getty Images
It was no surprise to see Melbourne Heart fall 3-0 to Brisbane Roar on Sunday, but the red and whites actually controlled the match at various stages and showed some of their best away form for some time. They’ll need to lift a couple of cogs on Friday night, though, when Western Sydney visits the Victorian capital where Heart is a completely different team.

Harry Kewell was set to start for the first time in a month, but after injuring an ankle at training he’ll be sidelined for at least another week. After picking up draws in their first two matches, their opponents, the Wanderers, comfortably accounted for Sydney FC 2-0 in the derby before getting over Adelaide United 2-1 at Parramatta Stadium last week.

Western Sydney won without Ethiopian winger Youssouf Hersi who suffered a foot injury after being stomped on in the Sydney derby. The Wanderers are yet to lose with the 31-year-old in the team, but they’ll have to do it again with the African out for a second straight week. Heart is without defender Patrick Kisnorbo for the next couple of weeks as he recovers from a knee injury. The Melbourne side has been particularly vulnerable at set pieces this season where they have conceded half of their goals so far.

Western Sydney won all three matches against Heart last season, including a 3-1 victory at AAMI Park in March. The Wanderers scored first in every game and there was a red card in the last two encounters. The Wanderers have gone their past 17 regular season games unbeaten and have dropped just four points in their last 11 away matches.

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