Preview: Melbourne Heart v Sydney FC

The Heart have never lost to the Sky Blues, while Vitezslav Lavicka's side have been brilliant on the road this season.

Date: Saturday, March 17 Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT Venue:AAMI Park

Head-to-head Played 5: Wins: Sydney FC 0, Melbourne Heart 3, Draws: 2

Previous encounter Sydney 0, Melbourne Heart 4, December 29, 2011

History: Melbourne Heart may only be in their second season in the A-League but they are already establishing themselves as a real bogey side for Sydney FC.

The Sky Blues have never beaten the Heart in the five-match history between the clubs, with the red and whites winning three of those fixtures.

The most recent meeting was a huge win to the Heart with goals from Eli Babalj, Mate Dugandzic, Jason Hoffman and Alex Terra giving John van 't Schips's side a 4-0 victory, the club's biggest ever in the A-League.

Form: Past five matches: Melbourne Heart: LWWDD Sydney FC: WWLDW

The Heart seem to have rediscovered the form which saw them fly up the ladder in the middle of the season before an eight-game winless streak.

Last week's 1-1 draw with Wellington made it four games unbeaten now and just one win away from their maiden Hyundai A-League finals berth. The Heart have the added bonus of having all their key players back in good form which will make them a very dangerous proposition should they make the playoffs.

Sydney's season has been plagued by terrible inconsistency but they seemed to have come right at just the right time. The Sky Blues have won three of their last five matches and now sit just one point out of the top six with two games to go and more importantly have their finals destiny in their own hands.

Last week's 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory was arguably the team's most polished performance of the season and if not for some wayward finishing, would have been much more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

Match Committee: There's no fresh injury worries for the Heart with only Kristian Sarkies in doubt with his quad injury.

Sydney will be without last weekend's goal-scoring hero Karol Kisel through suspension after the Slovakian picked up an eighth yellow card of the season. But besides that Vitezslav Lavicka has a full squad to choose from with Mark Bridge coming through his return from an ankle injury unscathed and he will come into consideration for a starting spot.

Danger men: Eli Babalj - Like most young players seem to do, Babalj suffered a mini dip in form during the middle of the year but he looks to have rediscovered his mojo in recent weeks. The 20-year-old has scored three goals in his last four matches, including a towering header in the 1-1 draw with the Phoenix last weekend.

Nick Carle - Carle has been Sydney's most consistent player all season and will hold the key to breaking down the Heart's defence. The 30-year-old is desperate to return to finals football after a few years out and he has been boosted in the last few weeks since being a part of the Socceroos squad for the recent World Cup qualifier. Carle is the only Sydney player to have ever scored against the Melbourne Heart.

At the end of the day… It doesn't get too much bigger than this. Melbourne Heart are in fifth spot with Sydney FC just outside the top six but only one point behind.

A win for the Heart will see them secure their maiden finals berth but a loss and Sydney FC will take their spot. With so much at stake this promises to be a clash full of nerves, passion and drama. The good news for both coaches is their sides are coming into this match in good form and full of confidence.

You could make a strong argument for either side in this one. The Heart have never lost to the Sky Blues, while Vitezslav Lavicka's side have been brilliant on the road this season. The one stat that sticks out though is that Sydney FC have played four games at AAMI Park with all those matches ending in draws. That's enough for me to think these two teams might just cancel each other out, especially with so much on the line.