A-League Preview: Derby date beckons for winless Heart
Melbourne Heart will be desperate to end their winless season when they take on neighbours Melbourne Victory in this weekend's A-League.
John Aloisi's side have yet to taste victory in 10 games this season and are rooted to the bottom of the table ahead of the clash with their bitter rivals.
But the Heart have enjoyed good success over the Victory – regardless of ladder position – over the past few seasons and will see no better time to get their season up-and-running.
Skipper Harry Kewell, who embarrassingly missed a penalty last weekend, has looked impressive off the bench in the past two weeks and could be ready for his first start since the opening weekend of the season.
The Victory's roller-coaster season got back to winning ways last weekend and they will be eager to consolidate their spot in the top six – and keep their rivals down – with a win at AAMI Park.
Champions Central Coast kick off the round with a rescheduled clash with Wellington Phoenix at North Sydney Oval on Thursday night.
The Mariners are hurting following a crushing 4-0 defeat to lowly Adelaide last weekend and rarely played so badly two games in a row.
Victory for Phil Moss' side will see them jump up to fourth spot and give them a big confidence boost ahead of their mouth-watering grand final replay with the Western Sydney Wanderers on Monday.
The Wanderers themselves ended a three-game winless run with a gritty 1-0 win over Newcastle last weekend and will be keen to keep pace with league-leaders Brisbane with a win at Pirtek Stadium.
Before that clash there is a double-header on Sunday.
Sydney FC will travel across the ditch to take on the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.
The Sky Blues have surged up to third on the ladder with five wins from their last six games, which included a win over Wellington last month.
But Sydney coach Frank Farina admitted his side 'got out of jail' in beating the Heart last weekend and will want to see better performances to go with the results, especially if skipper Alessandro Del Piero is unfit.
Under-fire Perth Glory take on a resurgent Adelaide United in the second Sunday match in a crucial clash for both sides for differing reasons.
The Glory have sacked coach Alastair Edwards this week after he was involved in a messy and heated public spat with skipper Jacob Burns.
Adelaide, who registered their first win in nine games last time out, will have to maintain that form to keep in touch with the top six who are beginning to pull away from the chasing pack.