This shapes as the match of the round with two attacking sides desperate for their first win of the season.
United will be fresh after having the bye last week but they will enter the match without goalscoring star Shane Smeltz who is off chasing a contract in Turkey.
That will please the Victory to no end as they have conceded seven goals (the most in the competition) so far and the absence of a striker with the quality of Smeltz will have their defenders brimming with confidence.
Melbourne have been unlucky in their two draws but need to be more efficient in front of goal after spurning 28 shots against North Queensland Fury last week but I feel they are on the brink of a solid win and it may come against a Gold Coast team missing their most important link.
Verdict: Victory 2-1.
Gold Coast United v Melbourne Victory
Date: Sunday, 29 August 2010
Venue: Skilled Park, Robina
Local kick-off: 3.00pm AEST
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 3): Gold Coast United 1 win, Melbourne Victory 2 wins
Referee: Ben Williams
Gold Coast United Squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 5.ROBSON, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.ANDERSON, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 18.James BROWN, 19.Andrew BARISIC, 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk), 21.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 22.Adama TRAORE, 24.John CURTIS, 26.Ben HALLORAN *four to be omitted*
In: 19.Andrew BARISIC (promoted), 21.Golgol MEBRAHTU (promoted), 22.Adama TRAORE (promoted), 24.John CURTIS (return from calf injury), 26.Ben HALLORAN (promoted)
Out: 9.Shane SMELTZ (overseas)
Unavailable: Daniel Piorkowski (ankle injury – 4 weeks), Matt Osman (knee injury – indefinite)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3.Mate DUGANDZIC, 5. Surat SUKHA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER, 11.Marvin ANGULO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Matthew FOSCHINI, 19.Evan BERGER, 20.Sebastian MATTEI (gk), 21.Robbie KRUSE, 22.Nick WARD, 23.Adrian LEIJER, 27. Geoff KELLAWAY *four to be omitted*
In: 14.Billy CELESKI (returns from injury), 17.Matthew FOSCHINI (promoted), 22.Nick WARD (promoted), 8.Grant BREBNER (returns from soreness)
Unavailable: Archie THOMPSON (knee - indefinite), Matthew KEMP (knee - indefinite)