Preview: Perth Glory v Melbourne Heart

Playing in the Western Australian capital makes last season's grand finalists an even tougher proposition.

Date: Saturday 21 October, 2012 Kick-off: 2pm WST, 5pm AEDT Venue: nib Stadium

Head-to-head Played: 4 Wins: Glory 3, Heart 1, Draws: 0

Previous encounter Glory 3, Heart 0, 4 April 2012

Form: Past five matches: Glory: LWLWW Heart: DWLDD

The Game Glory will have the bonus of taking on a Heart side without defender Simon Colosimo, who was sent off last weekend, while striker Shane Smeltz is expected to be back from international duties.

These teams are both pretty close to full fitness right now, with only long-term injuries to Glory duo Evan Berger (hamstring) and Chris Coyne (Achilles) keeping them out of the selection picture.

The big issue Perth Glory - Playing in the Western Australian capital makes last season's grand finalists an even tougher proposition. The Glory have won their past three home matches and with hot weather predicted on Saturday, their advantage will only be amplified.

To accuse Glory of inconsistency just two rounds into the season is a little harsh but their two performances so far have been like chalk and cheese. Ian Ferguson's men were irrepressible in their opening round victory over Brisbane Roar but always looked like losing on Sunday as they fell 1-0 to Central Coast Mariners.

Melbourne Heart - For the opening two weeks John Aloisi's charges have been inefficient in front of goal.

They wasted many chances in the 1-1 draw with the Wellington Phoenix last start when they created many opportunities with Richard Garcia, Fred and Josip Tadic all missing opportunities to snare a match winning goal.

Given Aloisi is a former Socceroos striker who scored 27 goals in 55 international appearances, Heart out of all A-League sides should be the least worried about finishing.

Gamebreaker Who else but the A-League's all-time goal scorer Shane Smeltz? The Kiwi sharpshooter scored a hat-trick to sink Melbourne Heart in the finals last season and contributed two goals against the red and white in September's pre-season friendly, a match Glory won 5-0.

Prediction: Perth will start as favourites but this could go either way.

Perth, second favourites for the championship, are a formidable side but they're susceptible to fast counter-attacks and that's one area the Heart can rightly claim to be better at - the pace of Mate Dugandzic and the poise of Richard Garcia can hurt teams when they least expect it.

But on the other hand, the Heart's young defence will find it tough to deal with goal machine Shane Smeltz and his crafty strike partner Billy Mehmet, who scored Perth's only goal this season.

We're tipping Glory to win 2-1 in an entertaining clash.