Preview: Melbourne Heart v Perth Glory

Neither team have troubled the scorers with great effect this season, but you never know what to expect in the Hyundai A-League.

Date: Saturday February 9, 2013 Kick-off: 5.30pm local, AEDT Venue: AAMI Park Head-to-head Played: 9 Wins: Melbourne Heart 2, Perth Glory 4, Draws: 3 Previous encounter Adelaide United 4 Melbourne Victory 2, December 7 2012

Form: Past five matches: Melbourne Heart: LLWLW Perth Glory: LLLLD

The Game The previous nine encounters between the two clubs have all followed a pattern - the first three were draws, the next three were away wins while the past three have been home victories. What will the next trio of Heart-Glory matches hold? We'll soon find out.

Both sides will be hungry for a win that can bolster their finals aspirations, however it is Heart who will have more realistic reasons to believe they can make the top six than Glory - despite being currently separated by just two points.

Glory have no confidence in front of goal, with injuries preventing any first-team consistency, however they are expecting to see star striker Shane Smeltz return to the XI on Saturday.

Smeltz has scored three of Perth's past four goals, earning them a draw with Sydney FC, while his late penalty was the only consolation against Adelaide.

Heart have their own problems up front - with Josip Tadic ruled out due to a toe injury.

Having returned from overseas, Eli Babalj will now hold the responsibility in front of goal.

Their defence, though, has been boosted by the addition of former Glory defender Jamie Coyne, who could come straight into the matchday squad to thwart his old club.

Coyne will try to fill the hole vacated by Simon Colosimo (calf), with Aziz Behich and Michael Marrone departed overseas.

Heart are weakened further by the absence of Fred (quads), Dylan Macallister (adductors) and the long-term absentee Mate Dugandzic (foot), with young left-back Sam Mitchinson another casualty of late with a quad strain.

Perth, meanwhile, should improve from their loss in Wellington, after Liam Miller, Dean Heffernan and Josh Risdon all returned last week and will be better for the run.

The big issue Goals. Perth have averaged under a goal per game this campaign, and their only goals in their past four matches were consolations. Will they get their first worthwhile goal in over 360 minutes of play? If they get it early, it might spark some much-needed momentum.

Scoring is also Heart's main concern, as a lack of goals despite numerous chances in some clashes has cost them plenty of points.

Gamebreaker Shane Smeltz. The former Johnny Warren Medal and two-time Golden Boot winner has all the spark and skill to win the game off his own deadly accurate right boot.

Prediction: Melbourne Heart 5-4 Perth Glory Neither team have troubled the scorers with great effect this season, but you never know what to expect in the Hyundai A-League. Hence, a nine-goal thriller could be just around the corner, especially with the unsettled line-ups these two clubs have been producing of late.

Smeltz should blow open Perth's goalscoring drought, however expect Heart's home advantage to get them over the line in a helter-skelter contest.

A couple of early dismissals may also be in the order, as both sides should be desperate for a result.