A REVISED forecast of 40 degrees won’t stop the A-League clash between Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory on Sunday.
But players are likely to get a reprieve from the heat with the possibility of the game being broken into quarters with drink breaks at the 22-minute mark.
A spokesman for the Heart said they had faced similar temperatures in a clash with Perth at AAMI Park last year.
He said there were precedents to playing in heat and they would use the A-League’s wet bulb test on the day.
That factors in humidity, radiation and wind speed.
The game is expected to start on time at 3pm.
Perth Glory’s most valuable player last year, Steven McGarry, said the temperature would play into their hands.
“We have just finished training in about 37 degrees,” he said from Perth yesterday.
“We have these types of conditions fairly regularly and so it’s not uncommon to be kicking off with the temperature in the mid-30s.
“The fact the game is being played regionally means they lose some of that home ground advantage.”
But McGarry said it would be a real test for some of the recent European recruits — including first game hero Darvydas Sernas.
“They were struggling in the heat at training today,” he said.
“I told them it was normally a little bit cooler in Melbourne but had no idea it was now forecast to be 40 degrees.”
A Football Federation Australia spokesmen said an A-league game had never been called off because of the heat but a W-league game in Adelaide last weekend was pushed back an hour because of the high temperatures.
Sacked Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards savaged the A-League management for showing what he said was a continued lack of respect for the WA-based club after a game in extreme temperatures late last year.
After drawing 1-1 with Adelaide United at nib Stadium, Edwards was “raging inside” that the game was not moved from the scheduled start time of 2.30pm because of the searing temperatures.
Adelaide coach Josep Gombau supported Edwards’ concerns, saying players were unable to run properly in the second half.
It was 33 degrees when the game started and a drinks break was scheduled in both halves.