Official Preview: Melbourne Heart v Brisbane Roar
AAMI Park is the place to be this Sunday, as Heart have a score to settle with goal-crazy Roar
Sunday 14th November 5:00pm AAMI Park
AAMI Park is the place to be this Sunday, as Heart have a score to settle with goal-crazy Roar. Don-t miss the ladder leaders in action!
Win, lose or draw, John Van-t Schip-s team have put in decent showings in almost every game in their inaugural Hyundai A-League season. There is, though, one exception. When Heart went to Suncorp Stadium in Week 8, they offered a performance that was the opposite of what they are all about. Their display lacked enterprise, spirit and, strangely, heart.
Memories of the 4-0 thrashing still hurt, and it remains the biggest loss in their short history, so the red and white army have long since marked this Sunday-s rematch in their diary as the day they can exact revenge and show how far they-ve come since that miserable loss.
However, they wouldn-t have banked on the fact that their opponents are also seemingly getting better and better with each passing week, and have been smashing in goals for fun over the last couple of games.
After Brisbane Roar struggled to find the net in the early part of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season (their four against Heart more than doubled their tally to that point), they have recently hit unbelievable form. With eight goals in two games propelling them to the top of the ladder, they-ll head to AAMI Park with a sense of invincibility about them.
In the last two matches, they sent a strong message out to the rest of the Hyundai A-League - fear us! Firstly, a trip to Wellington concluded with Ange Postecoglou-s side not only bringing to an end Phoenix-s remarkable 24 game unbeaten home run, but smashing it to pieces.
Their 4-1 win was as emphatic as it sounds. After going in front after just four minutes, they refused to sit back and try to preserve the lead, but rather grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. After being pegged back just before half-time, they simply upped the tempo and turned the screw in the second-half with goals from Thomas Broich, Massimo Murdocca and substitute Mitch Nichols.
If that wasn-t a daunting enough statement of intent from the young Roar, last Saturday-s humbling of their rivals at the top of the ladder was enough to leave the rest of the Hyundai A-League quaking in their boots. Having secured a 1-0 half-time lead against Adelaide United, Roar found themselves down to ten men after goalscorer Reinaldo was sent off.
Did they stick men behind the ball and shut the game off? Not a chance, their three further goals made a mockery of their numerical disadvantage and opened up a four point gap at the top of the ladder. They clearly fear no opponent, no situation. Such was their form, that Luke DeVere was voted as the Hyundai A-League most outstanding U21 player for the month of October.
However, DeVere and his buddies will face a tougher opponent than the Heart they took on at Suncorp earlier in the season. The stripes are unbeaten at AAMI Park since the opening night of the season, when they succumbed to Central Coast Mariners, and the Hyundai A-League-s newest side have come on in leaps and bounds since the heavy defeat to Roar. Indeed, John Van-t Schip went as far as to say that the spanking was the turning point in their season.
Heart fans, the ladder leaders are heading your way and they are playing some dynamite football at the moment. Stopping them in their tracks is no easy task, so your team needs your full support on Sunday. Crank up the atmosphere just like you did against Victory - when you were outnumbered but never out sung - and spur your team on from the first whistle to the last.