BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, March 9, 2012
With just three weeks remaining in the A-League regular season, Alex Smith and Wellington Phoenix will continue their playoff push on Saturday with a visit to Melbourne Heart.
Smith is expected to start in his usual defensive midfield position.
After two difficult losses to Brisbane and Central Coast, Wellington have returned to their winning ways with two straight victories. Last weekend Smith started and went 71 minutes in a 2-0 victory over Gold Coast United.
Melbourne Heart enter the game on a three game unbeaten streak. Last weekend they earned an impressive 1-1 draw against second place Brisbane Roar on the road to enhance their status as a playoff team.
Under the A-League format, the top two teams advance to the semifinals of the playoffs while the third through sixth place teams play in the quarterfinals.
Wellington currently sit in third place and trail second place Brisbane by three points. They have 39 points through 24 games. Melbourne Heart sit in fifth place with 34 points through 24 games.
For Wellington they will be without injured Daniel and Lucas Pantelis, while Melbourne Heart will only be without Kristian Sarkies who is out with a quad injury.