A-League preview 2010/11: Melbourne Victory

The A-League’s most successful club were desperately unlucky last season and will be out to avenge their agonising losses this term.

The A-League’s most successful club were desperately unlucky last season and will be out to avenge their agonising losses this term.

Melbourne Victory were heading for an unprecedented third Premiership until they were beaten by Sydney FC on the last day of the regular season to relinquish the title to the Sky Blues before losing the Grand Final in a penalty shootout to the same club and finishing empty-handed.

In 2010/11, the Victory will be without their best player Archie Thompson who is not expected back until at least November which may cause problems in the goalscoring department but at least they have stabilised their playing group unlike a lot of other A-League clubs and that all-important continuity will be there, making coach Ernie Merrick’s life a lot easier.

The return of Billy Celeski from a knee injury similar to Thompson’s is a huge plus as they will need players like Celeski to help create and score goals along with fellow midfielders Carlos Hernandez and Tom Pondeljak and likely lone striker Robbie Kruse.

The Victory are consistent enough to again make the finals but may lack that customary punch to really knock down teams when it matters.

If they can stay in touch with the top few teams before Thompson and defender Matthew Kemp return, then they are in with a real chance.

Last season: Runners-up
tribalfootball’s Prediction: 3rd

Arrivals: Michael Petkovic (Sivasspor), Sebastian Mattei (Melbourne Victory Youth), Diogo Ferreira (Melbourne Victory Youth), Petar Franjic (Melbourne Victory Youth)

Departures: Mitch Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Glen Moss (Gold Coast United), Aziz Behich (Melbourne Heart), Sutee Suksomkit (Bangkok Glass FC), Nik Mrdja (Central Coast Mariners), Nathan Elasi (delisted), Matthew Theodore (delisted)

Biggest signing: Michael Petkovic

Biggest loss: Mitch Langerak

Key men: Carlos Hernandez, Kevin Muscat, Tom Pondeljak, Robbie Kruse

Team list

Goalkeepers

Michael Petkovic

Defenders

Evan Berger
Matthew Foschini
Petar Franjic
Matthew Kemp
Adrian Leijer
Kevin Muscat
Surat Sukha
Rodrigo Vargas

Midfielders

Marvin Angulo
Grant Brebner
Leigh Broxham
Billy Celeski
Diogo Ferreira
Carlos Hernandez
Tom Pondeljak
Nick Ward

Forwards

Mate Dugandzic
Robbie Kruse
Archie Thompson

Coach

Ernie Merrick

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