Herbert wary of Heart recovery

26 December 2012 05:45:50 EST

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert expects Melbourne Heart to go all out for a win when the clubs clash at Westpac Stadium on Thursday.

They're a good side and we're going to have to play well to match them.

Ricki Herbert on Melbourne Heart.

The Heart suffered a dramatic 2-1 defeat in the Melbourne derby list time out, conceding the deciding goal in the 93rd minute.

But while the Phoenix might be regarded as having the edge in confidence after their 1-1 draw against Central Coast last Saturday, Herbert doesn't see it that way.

"I think they're probably desperate as well, coming off the back of an undeserved result against Melbourne Victory where I thought they played very well," Herbert said.

"They're a good side and we're going to have to play well to match them."

The teams are evenly matched in terms of overall form this season, with both having won three of their 12 matches.

While Wellington are poised to name an unchanged line-up, however, the visitors are not so lucky.

They will be without two key defenders in suspended pair Patrick Gerhardt and Simon Colosimo, with coach John Aloisi replacing them with Steven Gray and teenager David Vrankovic Herbert is keen for his side to preserve their good record at home to the Heart, who have never won in Wellington.

The Melbourne side are not good travellers, having picked up just four points from a possible 18 on the road.

The Phoenix coach said: "I think the stats tell you if we take a lead in the game, I don't think we've lost. Let's hope we score early on Thursday."

Wellington are 7/10 to beat Melbourne Heart, who are 4/1 and the draw is 13/5.

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