Preview: Melbourne Heart v Melbourne Victory

The Victory were shattered by the result in the first derby and are desperate for some cross town bragging rights in this match.

Date: Saturday December 11
Kick-off: 7:00pm
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Television: Live and exclusive on Fox Sports 1 from 6:00pm (AEDT).
Radio: 774 ABC and
Live Match Centre:

Played 1: Wins: Melbourne Heart 1

Previous Meeting
Melbourne Heart 2, Melbourne Victory 1, AAMI Park, October 2010

Why we don’t like ’em
There was plenty of rivalry between these two teams before they even met in a competitive match in October. Heart have come into the competition this year determined to make an impression, while Victory are equally as determined to maintain their territory.

Then along came the first derby which lived up to all the hype. Heart took the early lead through John Aloisi, before Robbie Kruse hit back before half-time. Alex Terra settled it with a goal on 56 minutes, but there was plenty of drama with Aziz Behich sent off with 16 minutes to go. Victory were shattered by that result and are desperate for some cross-town bragging rights in this match.

Past five matches:
Melbourne Heart:
Melbourne Heart 0, Newcastle Jets 0, AAMI Park
Gold Coast United 3, Melbourne Heart 0, Skilled Park
Melbourne Heart 0, Sydney FC 0, AAMI Park
Wellington Phoenix 2, Melbourne Heart 0, Westpac Stadium
Melbourne Heart 0, Adelaide United 0, AAMI Park

Melbourne Victory:
Melbourne Victory 3, Brisbane Roar 3, AAMI Park
Wellington Phoenix 2, Melbourne Victory 2, Westpac Stadium
Melbourne Victory 2, Central Coast Mariners 2, AAMI Park
Perth Glory 3, Melbourne Victory 1, nib Stadium
Melbourne Victory 0, Gold Coast United 1, Etihad Stadium

Decisions for Ernie
Leigh Broxham misses this match with a calf injury, while Ricardinho remains sidelined with a knee problem. Adrian Leijer is available after serving a suspension, meaning a headache for the coach, who said he is committed to playing both full backs, Surat Sukha and Matthew Kemp. That means one of Leijer, Kevin Muscat or Rody Vargas will miss out. Expect Marvin Angulo to keep his spot in the team.

Behind Enemy Lines
Heart have had a tough run with injuries of late and striker Alex Terra will definitely miss this one. Having only played on Wednesday night, there will be a concern for coach John van ‘t Schip over how his more experienced players such as Gerald Sibon and Simon Colosimo will back up. Josip Skoko is a chance to make a return from injury while John Aloisi and Wayne Srhoj are back into the side after sitting out midweek

Our Hero
Robbie Kruse – Kruse has compiled an impressive record of eight goals in 12 appearances this season and is the joint leading scorer in the league. He has vaulted into contention for selection for the Asian Cup.

Danger Man
Matt Thompson – Thompson has been used in a variety of roles this season and is Heart’s most dangerous player. He may find himself back in defence this week with Skoko and Srhoj back in the team.

Why we will win
Heart caused a major upset in the first-ever derby and that result still smarts for the proud boys in blue. The new boys showed themselves to be quicker and more dynamic on the day and it led to some serious soul-searching for Victory.

Both teams desperately need a win in this match having not won in a long time. Victory are five matches without a win, while Heart have gone six matches, including the past five without scoring.

On their form, and the fact Victory have had high-scoring draws in their past three matches, you would think that Victory would go into this match as overwhelming favourites. But the fact remains, that Heart is still ahead of them on the table and were able to turn around some poor form to triumph last time.

The difference this time can be summed up in four names – Grant Brebner, Matthew Kemp, Archie Thompson and Marvin Angulo. Those four players didn’t participate in the inaugural derby and their addition will give Victory fans every confidence that the result can be turned around in this match.

Victory are ready. They have opted to put in full backs to combat Heart’s width, while they have some real sharpness up front with Thompson and Kruse in form.


Melbourne Heart squad: 1. Clint BOLTON, 2. Michael MARRONE, 3. Brendan HAMILL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6. Matt THOMPSON, 7. Rutger WORM, 8. Kristian SARKIES, 9. Gerald SIBON, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 12. Peter ZOIS, 15. John ALOISI, 16. Aziz BEHICH, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 20. Josip SKOKO 21, Kliment TASESKI, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Dean HEFFERNAN, 25. Adrian ZAHRA
*Four to be omitted*

In: John ALOISI (promoted), Josip SKOKO (returns from injury), Kliment TASESKI (promoted), Wayne SRHOJ (returns from suspension)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Alex TERRA (3 weeks – Hamstring), Eli BABALJ (4-6 weeks – Hip and Thigh)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3. Mate DUGANDZIC, 5. Surat SUKHA, 7. Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11.Marvin ANGULO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Billy CELESKI, 15. Tommy PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 19. Evan BERGER, 20. Sebastian MATTEI (gk), 21. Robbie KRUSE, 22. Geoff KELLAWAY 23. Adrian LEIJER
*three to be omitted*

In: Tom PONDELJAK (returns from injury), Adrian LEIJER (returns from suspension)
Out: Leigh BROXHAM (calf – 2 weeks)
Unavailable: RICARDINHO (knee – 3 weeks)