Preview: Melbourne Victory v Melbourne Heart

It may only be the opening game of the season but there is no doubt both sides want to claim early bragging rights over their fierce rivals.

Date: Friday, October 5 Kick-off: 7:30pm AEDT Venue: Etihad Stadium

Head-to-head Played 6: Wins: Victory 1, Heart 2, Draws: 3

Previous encounter Heart 0, Victory 0, AAMI Park, February 4 2012

Form: Past five matches: Victory: WWWDL Heart: WLDWL

The Game Victory should be at full strength with captain Adrian Leijer expected to line-up at Etihad Stadium on Friday night despite limited game time throughout pre-season as he looked to overcome hip and groin injuries.

Lawrence Thomas appears to have been given the nod ahead of Tando Velaphi for the goalkeeping gloves. Heart have a couple of players under injury clouds with the versatile Jonatan Germano struggling with an ankle injury, while new recruit Golgol Mehbrahtu is still feeling the effects of a niggling groin problem.

The big issue Victory - Maintaining the game plan under pressure. It's all well and good to have a game plan like Postecoglou's but whether or not his charges can put it into practice this early in the campaign remains to be seen.

Although we all remember how good Brisbane have been over the last two years under Ange, many forget the Roar struggled a little for cohesion in their opening few rounds to the 2010-11 season and didn't really hit their scoring straps until a 4-0 demolition of Melbourne Heart in Week 8.

Postecoglou has had just on four months to drill his players in what should be a mobile, attacking style similar to Brisbane's, having taken over a team that was at its lowest ebb. When Postecoglou arrived, he came to a club that had seen two coaches sacked during the one season, while Harry Kewell's departure was confirmed just a few weeks later.

Postecoglou's initial game plan relied on Kewell being in the team, so the coach had to come up with an alternative and whether there's been enough time for this to be properly effective under real pressure is a big question hanging over this side.

Heart - New players being integrated successfully. The Heart's been something of a revolving door over the off-season. Not only did foundation coach John van 't Schip jump ship for Mexico leaving John Aloisi in charge, but seven players also departed, with nine coming in to replace them.

With such a big number of changes, integrating them into the team and getting it to gel would be a tough challenge for any coach, let alone one in his first year at this level. Whether, Aloisi can get the job done with an inexperienced coaching staff behind him as well, remains to be seen.

Gamebreaker Marcos Flores - The charismatic Argentine is back in Australia and if he can replicate the form that saw him receive the 2011 Johnny Warren Medal while playing for Adelaide United, Victory supporters are in for a real treat.

Despite spending just one season in the league before opting for a move to Chinese Super League outfit Henan Jianye, Flores captured the hearts of all fans with his flair and attacking brilliance. With Harry Kewell and Carlos Hernandez Victory players no more, Postecoglou will hope the 26-year-old can step up to the plate and spearhead the club's championship bid.

Prediction: Victory 2 Heart 0

You can follow all the action LIVE via our ABC Radio stream in the match centre.