Heart vets face Sydney

Melbourne Heart are set to call upon experienced duo Simon Colosimo and John Aloisi to confront their former teammates in Saturday's clash against Sydney FC at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Heart are set to call upon experienced duo Simon Colosimo and John Aloisi to confront their former teammates in Saturday's clash against Sydney FC at AAMI Park.

Injuries kept Colosimo and Aloisi out of the 2-0 mid-week loss to Wellington Phoenix but with stand-in skipper Matt Thompson suspended and queries over whether several players will be able to back-up off the three-day break into this match, coach John van 't Schip has said the pair are likely to play.

"Simon should replace Matt. But again, he was out the last two games. He had a session yesterday and that went okay. He still feels his knee a little bit. I'm almost sure he can play," said van 't Schip of the club captain, who has struggled to command a place in first XI this season.

"John (Aloisi), we have to prepare him a different way. We left him her because for him it's impossible to play two games in a row with the travel. He's definitely in the squad, we-ll see if he starts or comes in."

Van 't Schip is unlikely to make a decision on his starting XI until match day, with concerns over how some of experienced players will back-up after the trip across the Tasman.

"What I've heard form the medical people is that everybody seems to be okay. We have to wait for today's session. Sometimes after a couple of days a few injuries can came up. So we'll make a decision then," he said.

Van 't Schip said the preparation for the club's first-ever clash with Sydney was less than ideal, especially off the back of three consecutive losses.

"We haven't had time to prepare properly. But it's how it is and we knew that. It would have more ideal to play on Sunday," he said. "We have to wait and hope that everybody can play 90 minutes, for sure there will be a few players after one hour or 70 minutes who will struggle."

But despite reservations over the fitness of his squad, van't Schip will not alter his approach to Sydney FC, who have won three of their past five games.

"I don't believe in changing things now. We have to go for the win and our way is playing for a win is having the ball, trying to press high up the pitch and that's what we'll try to do tomorrow."

Saturday's game is the club's ninth in 41 days, a period which has seen Heart travel to New Zealand twice, Townsville, Perth and Port Macquarie. While not wanting to use the hectic schedule as an excuse, the coach sees it as a contributor to the team's lack of sharpness, which has led to losses in their last three games.

"I don't think it's a drop off in form, it's a drop off in results. The form in the team is not that bad. It's more the sharpness defensively and up front," he said. "Hopefully we can get that back against Sydney."