Harry, Alessandro the heart and soul of clash
IT will be when Harry met Alessandro.
Marquee men Alessandro Del Piero and Harry Kewell are set to go head to head for the first time when Sydney FC host Melbourne Heart at Allianz Stadium today.
Three times before injuries have kept Kewell out of such a showdown.
First when Juventus played Liverpool in the quarter- finals of the 2005 UEFA Champions League, then a year later when Italy knocked Australia out of the World Cup in Germany and most recently in the A- League when the Heart lost to Sydney in round six.
But the stars look to have finally aligned with both veterans likely to start.
Del Piero, 39, is back after missing last week’s loss to Central Coast with a hamstring strain while Kewell made his long-awaited comeback from injury in the Heart’s draw with Western Sydney last week, coming on as a late substitute.
Heart coach John Aloisi has confirmed 35- year- old Kewell will play more than the 18 minutes he managed against the Wanderers and Del Piero has said he’s confident he’ll be fit to play.
Sky Blues midfielder and former Heart player Matthew Thompson says to witness the first clash between the veteran duo will be huge.
‘‘It will be massive,’’ he said. ‘‘ To see all the fans come out to watch Alessandro it’s so great for this club because he’s a legend of the game and they’ll also get to see him take on arguably Australia’s best in Harry.’’
The last-placed Heart come into the clash still searching for their maiden win this season but are rejuvenated after backing up their dramatic 3-3 draw against Adelaide with an impressive 1-1 result against reigning premiers the Wanderers.
Sydney meanwhile ended their club record four-game winning streak with a 1-0 loss to defending champions the Mariners last week.
But Thompson says they have no intention of handing the Heart their first victory.
‘‘With Heart still not winning any games you definitely don’t want to be the team they break that streak against,’’ he said.
Melbourne Heart star Harry Kewell and prized Sydney FC recruit Alessandro Del Piero, who are the captains of their respective teams, will square off for the first time in the A-League in today’s clash at Allianz Stadium