Emerton set for break?

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has strongly hinted he may rest marquee player Brett Emerton at some stage during a busy New Year playing schedule.

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has strongly hinted he may rest marquee player Brett Emerton at some stage during a busy New Year playing schedule.

The Sky Blues play three games in 11 days, starting with Melbourne Heart at the SFS on Thursday followed by a trip to Wellington before a home date with league leaders Central Coast.

Lavicka is wary of overtaxing 32-year-old Emerton, who is super fit but susceptible to injury given his physical approach to the game.

"He works very hard, he's a team player and always does the maximum for the team's success," Lavicka said.

"But of course he is a senior player so we must be careful because sometimes he has problems with his body so we must manage him smartly."

There will no immediate rest for Emerton, who will captain the side against Heart while regular skipper Terry McFlynn sits out with a one-match ban.

Lavicka said it was an easy choice deciding on McFlynn's replacement.

"For someone to be a captain it depends on their abilities and they must be real leaders," he said.

"This season we have more players with this ability and Brett Emerton is definitely one of them."

"This is a great chance for him to show his leadership."

"He will start with a captain's armband so he will have more responsibility. This is a very important game for him."

But while Emerton will lead the side out, he will not be taking McFlynn's position in the centre of midfield.

Lavicka will leave the former Premier League star on the right, refusing to reveal who will line-up in the middle.

"Brett will play as captain but not in Terry McFlynn's position," Lavicka confirmed.

"The team already knows who will play in Terry McFlynn's position but I don't want to make that official."

Sydney FC, who will again go in without the creative Nicky Carle, can overtake second-placed Heart if they are able to conjure an all-too-rare home win.