BRISBANE Roar boss Ange Postecoglou expects Melbourne Heart to put up much stiffer resistance than when the Queenslanders dished out a 4-0 drubbing in their last encounter.
While Roar are unbeaten in their past nine outings, Heart haven't suffered defeat since the week eight clash at Suncorp Stadium and Postecoglou was quick to give credit to the work of his Dutch counterpart.
"I think a lot has changed since then, a lot has changed with them certainly, they've gone on a good run of form," he said.
"They've changed things a bit and I think they're a much more effective side now.
"I think one of the main things that has happened is that Johnny has gotten to know his players better, that's just the natural evolution of a coach coming into a club.
"Now they're a lot more effective playing the type of game he wants them to play.
"When we played them last, I think they were still sort of in the mix of trying to figure out which players were most effective in the system they're playing."
Postecoglou predicted a much more even contest than their first meeting, naming Heart's injection of youth into the squad making a big difference in their speed and mobility on the park.
"I think it's a different match-up but it will still be a massive challenge for us," he said.
"We want to go down there and play well again and hopefully keep the run of form we've got going."
Brisbane will be without towering striker Reinaldo following his send off against Adelaide United last week which means a likely start for Costa Rican striker Jean Carlos Solorzano, only his second since joining the Roar ranks.
"We'll probably start with him," Postecoglou said.
"We're looking forward to throwing him in there, it's a good opportunity for him.
"We'll see how long he lasts but we're quite confident that he'll start the game and do well."
Roar will welcome back Shane Stefanutto into the side, the experienced defender missing in action since the 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners on 20 October with a hamstring injury.
"It has been really tough, I have missed a lot of football in the past year and I'm sick of missing football," Stefanutto said.
"I just couldn't wait to get back out training with the boys this week and I'm just so happy to be back in the squad and be contributing because we're a good team and I want to be a part of it.
"I want to be a part of every second now for the rest of the year."
Brisbane's attacking style of football has resulted in 12 different Roar goal scorers so far in the A-League 2010/11 season and Stefanutto joked his coach has been on his back about contributing to the tally.
"He's the one that keeps reminding me all the time!" Stefanutto said of Postecouglou.
"It's time I think, the pressure is building so the sooner I do the better but if I keep getting chances, I'll get one sooner rather than later."
The Brisbane coach backed the defender to break his goal drought, saying Stefanutto wouldn't want goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos to beat him to the scoresheet.
"He's keen to get amongst it," Postecoglou added.
"If there's a penalty, I think him and Michael will have a bit of a blue about it."