Sydney FC will be desperate for a much-needed three points when they host Melbourne Heart in the final match of round nine of the A-League. We’ll have live scores from 5.00pm AEDT.
The signs looked to be there for the Sky Blues last week as they headed into the final five minutes of their contest with A-League leaders Adelaide last Friday night.
But a momentary lapse in concentration allowed Dario Vidosic to snatch a late winner, handing Sydney their fourth consecutive loss.
This afternoon marks the return of former Brisbane Roar boss Frank Farina, who was named Sydney FC coach midweek, replacing interim coach Steve Corica.
Farina will no doubt be looking to plug Sydney FC’s porous defence, which has conceded 22 goals in eight matches to hold the league’s worst defensive record by a considerable margin.
Sydney’s problems have been well documented and have hogged the media spotlight, which perhaps explains why Melbourne Heart have been able to avoid similiar scrutiny.
Last Saturday John Aloisi’s men were gifted a 2-0 lead only five minutes into their match with Newcastle, only to throw it away and eventually draw 3-3.
It meant that the Heart remained in the nether regions of the A-League table, with only today’s opponent Sydney below them.
Both sides will be affected by Socceroos call-ups. Brett Emerton and Terry Antonis will be missing from Sydney’s already threadbare midfield, while the Heart will be without Michael Marrone, Aziz Behich and Richard Garcia.
It goes without saying that motivation should be high for the home side, given their tumultuous position, and the new coach factor should also give them a lift.
They weren’t that far off last Friday night and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Sky Blues get a least a point this afternoon.