Official Preview: Melbourne Heart v Adelaide United
Sing your Heart out at AAMI Park! It’s a Friday night showdown in Melbourne.
Melbourne Heart v Adelaide United Friday 19th November 8:00pm AAMI Park
Sing your Heart out at AAMI Park! It-s a Friday night showdown in Melbourne, as both teams strive to get back to winning ways.
Week 15 opens with a massively intriguing battle between two sides that both need three points. While hosts Melbourne Heart have finally discovered that winning feeling on the road, they haven-t managed a win at AAMI Park since they overcame their fierce rivals Victory in Week 9.
Last weekend at AAMI, they looked good to cause a shock against leaders Brisbane, going in, as they did, at half-time with a 1-0 lead thanks to Gerald Sibon-s early strike. However, despite playing some divine stuff, they failed to put the game to bed and allowed Roar back into it in the second period.
Brisbane-s equaliser with a quarter of the game remaining was certainly deserved and then Melbourne-s Hearts were well and truly broken by Jean Carlos Solórzano-s winner just two minutes from time.
Still, disappointing as the loss was for the Red and White Army, it is important to remember that, when they last played Brisbane, they were completely outclassed. This narrow defeat is a measure of just how quickly Melbourne Heart are progressing.
Meanwhile, Heart-s opponents are looking to halt a frustrating regression. After being literally unbeatable in the first third of their Hyundai A-League 2010/11 campaign, Adelaide United have now lost three of their last four games.
In what is becoming a worrying trend for Rini Coolen, all three of these bad results have come on the road. While excuses can be cooked up for defeats to Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar, their most recent loss is harder to be explained away.
Okay, so it was their third game in seven days, but, regardless, a trip to EnergyAustralia Stadium to face a team that had only won once all season should be the kind of game that potential champions gobble up, so the fact that United found themselves 2-0 behind to Newcastle inside the first 15 minutes was quite the shock. There was no coming back from that, and by the time Iain Fyfe scored with a header in the 79th minute, Jets were three goals to the good and out of sight. Defeat to Heart would equal the club record for most consecutive away losses.
The Reds have now shipped nine goals in their last three away games, meaning that Heart will fancy their chances of getting fans off their seats on more than one occasion on Friday.
If the only other meeting between the teams is anything to go by, goals are guaranteed. In Week Three of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, it was United that ran out winners in a five goal thriller. Then, an Iain Ramsay brace gave The Reds their first win of the season.
It was a sign of the great things that were to follow this season from Mathew Leckie, as he scored a lovely opener before Rutger Worm levelled the scores. Ramsey-s first of the game was again cancelled out, this time by Eli Babalj, who, following some amazing skill form Worm, scored with his first touch after coming off the bench.
However, just when the stripes thought they-d done all of the hard work, Ramsey nutmegged Clint Bolton with a drilled strike just three minutes from time to secure the points.
While Heart still seem not to have learnt to remain focussed until the final whistle, they have certainly developed into a stronger Hyundai A-League outfit since that early-season loss, and will no doubt be harder to stick three goals past than they were back in Week Three.
Adelaide though, will be hoping for goals from Sergio van Dijk, who missed the last clash between the sides after pulling up with a calf injury in the pre-match warm-up. Fresh from hitting the goal that finished the game off against Perth in Adelaide‘s last win, the deadly frontman will be looking to add to his five strikes so far this season.
Although United-s away form has let them down of late, they are still a force to be reckoned with in this exciting Hyundai A-League season and are sure to turn their ailing away fortunes around sooner rather than later, so Heart will have to be at their best if they are to make it four away losses on the spin for their opponents.
Whether Heart can exacerbate Adelaide-s away day blues or not, this game is sure to be an absolute firecracker. Get yourself a ticket to AAMI Park and get ready for a fantastic Friday as these two quality sides go at each other.