GLORY MATCH PREVIEW- ROUND 18 v MELBOURNE HEART

Perth Glory take on Melbourne Heart this Sunday at the Lavington Sports Ground, Albury in the FFA’s “Play Football” round.

Perth Glory take on Melbourne Heart this Sunday at the Lavington Sports Ground, Albury in the FFA-s “Play Football” round.

It is the third and final time that the two clubs meet in this Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season, and Glory will be looking to make it a clean sweep after two earlier one-nil and three-nil victories at nib Stadium in October and January.

With weather forecasts currently predicting temperatures at kick off time in the NSW-Victoria border town to be as high as 40 degrees, the expected searing conditions may well play a big part in this game, however that is unlikely to affect crowd numbers or dampen the atmosphere with up to 10,000 fans expected to attend what is being billed as Albury-s biggest ever sporting event.

Both teams will go into this game believing strongly that they can get the three points on offer, with Melbourne Heart-s recent form dramatically improving after the re-appointment John van't Schip as Head Coach in January and a run of form that has seen them lose only once this year and that being a three-nil defeat by Perth Glory.

Glory are coming off a hard fought one-all draw against Melbourne Victory last Friday night at nib Stadium and have the daunting task of four away games in the next five weeks that include matches against league leaders Brisbane and the long trek to Wellington in Round 22.

With the strengthening of the Glory squad completed in January, Interim Head Coach Kenny Lowe has the benefit of all three new signings being available and included in the squad to play in Albury.

A debut is anticipated for West Australian born midfielder Rostyn Griffiths and former Serbian under-21 international Nebojsa Marinkovic looks likely to retain his place in the starting line-up. Lithuanian international, Darvydas Sernas, who made an outstanding debut last week scoring a spectacular goal with only his second touch, is considered likely to start on the bench, having only arrived in Australia two weeks ago and still adapting to Australia-s heat.

With Jamie Maclaren also included after impressing with a hat trick in last weekend-s Foxtel NYL game against Melbourne Victory and Brazilian winger Sidnei Sciola returning after being withdrawn last week due to illness, the Perth Glory squad looks to be one of the most strongest and most attacking minded to have been put out this season.

Round 18 also sees the top six teams playing each other, with a top of the table clash between Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers. With the current standings in the A-League only being separated by 10 points from second placed Western Sydney Wanderers to ninth placed Newcastle Jets, a Glory victory on Sunday could see Kenny Lowe's side jump into the top five.

Sunday, 2 February 2014 Melbourne Heart FC v Perth Glory Lavington Sports Ground, Albury Kick-off: 3:00pm local (3:00pm AEDT) Referee: Lucien Laverdure Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis Assistant Referee 2: Jonathan Barreiro Fourth Official: Alex Azcurra

TV Broadcast: 2.30pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive coverage on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand). Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local Radio Vic 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA Grandstand Digital, Online/Mobile phone app

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MHTvPER

To purchase tickets visit http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/aleague/tickets.

Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Robbie WIELAERT, 6.Patrick GERHARDT, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 10.Harry KEWELL (C), 11.Michael MIFSUD, 13.Jonatan GERMANO, 15.David WILLIAMS, 16.Aziz BEHICH, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Nick KALMAR, 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO **one to be omitted** Ins: 21.Stefan MAUK (promoted), 11.Michael MIFSUD (promoted) Outs: 4.Orlando ENGELAAR (suspension - one week) Unavailable: Nil

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jamie MACLAREN, 14.Steven McGARRY, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17.Chris HAROLD, 18.Jack DUNCAN, 19.Josh RISDON, 23.Michael THWAITE, 25.Riley WOODCOCK, 28.Darvydas SERNAS, 36.William GALLAS

Ins: 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (promoted), 10.Jamie MACLAREN (promoted), 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES (promoted) Outs: 4.Ryan EDWARDS (omitted), 11.Adrian ZAHRA (omitted), 20.Danny DE SILVA (omitted) Unavailable: Travis DODD (knee - indefinite), Scott JAMIESON (achilles - indefinite)