It’s been 19 days since Melbourne Victory last played – a 2-1 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers – and Kevin Muscat and his men are looking to get a win over leagye leaders Perth Glory as the A-League kicks off after the Asian Cup break.
Bouncing back after the loss to the Glory in Geelong was vital for the Victory with goals from Carl Valeri and Gui Finkler ensuring the visitors took all three points.
Kosta Barbarouses was still in a minor form slump but the return of Fahid Ben Khalfallah from suspension immediately lifted the performance of Victory’s front third.
Daniel Georgievski replaced Dylan Murnane in the second half, his presence had been missed with the defence tightening up on his introduction to the game. The Wanderers were unlucky to not get a point from this match but the Victory’s defence held strong – one of the positives to come out of the game.
The win was the perfect way to head into the Asian Cup, although head coach Kevin Muscat didn’t consider it much of a break. He did, however, note how important it was to rest and recharge some of his players so they could fully push for the title in this second half of the season.
Still no Delpierre
The tall centre back hasn’t played since round three of the league, his last hit out was against Sunday night’s opponents in the FFA Cup.
Muscat didn’t reveal much about Delpierre’s injury but did admit the club didn’t expect it to keep him out for this long.
He also said that the foot injury would keep him out for another fortnight at least, ruling him out of both the Perth clash and possibly the final Melbourne Derby of the season.
Taking on Perth
The Victory will be looking for redemption against the Glory in Perth. With their 2-1 loss against Perth one of their most recent hit outs – and their second loss for the season – both the players and coaching staff will want to make amends.
The side’s second half performance against the Glory was strong and Muscat wants more of that against the league leaders at nib Stadium.
Muscat said he is excited by the prospect of facing the Glory again and is happy that their first game after the break is against Perth.
The coach won’t be making any major changes to the squad or the style of play, saying that improvement is all that is needed to make the system more consistent and return positive results.
It is likely that the Victory will only make the one change to the starting XI which beat the Wanderers with Daniel Georgievski to return to the starting line-up in place of Dylan Murnane.