Home key to Heart's A-League finals bid
Melbourne Heart are pinning their A-League finals hopes on home games five days apart against Adelaide and Western Sydney.
The ninth-placed Heart can climb to fifth if they extend their home winning streak to six by downing the Reds at AAMI Park on Monday night.
But it only gets harder from there.
Their only other remaining home game is against the top-placed Wanderers on Saturday night.
And given they have lost their past seven away matches, the Heart won't fancy their chances in the two away games to follow.
But coach John Aloisi said for the moment he would ignore his club's dire away record and concentrate on trying to rack up enough points at home.
"I think these two home games will go a long way to see if we can make finals," Aloisi said on Sunday.
"Then we'll worry about the Brisbane (away) game when it comes, but we're confident we can get the results we need at home."
Aloisi wants at least four points from the Adelaide and Western Sydney clashes.
Helping the Heart's cause will be the return of Croatian striker Josip Tadic, after four games out with a toe injury.
Aloisi said that put the Heart as close to full strength as they have been all season.
"It makes my job a lot easier because there's competition for places and players know they need to perform," he said.
Fourth-placed Adelaide, coming off a disappointing 1-0 away loss to Brisbane, regain Jon McKain from suspension.
While Adelaide haven't won away since November, Aloisi said in the likes of McKain, Jeronimo Neumann, Marcelo Carrusca and Dario Vidosic they still boasted some very dangerous players.
"They're probably the ones you say can really cause you problems," Aloisi said.
"But the whole side, at the beginning of the season they were on fire.
"They haven't been so good away from home, I know that, but they're still a dangerous side."