The Mariners still have a plethora of players unavailable including Andre Gumprecht, Dean Heffernan, Greg Owens, Danny Vukovic and Ahmad Elrich due to injury and suspension but will be boosted by the return of strike pair Nick Mrdja and Dylan Macallister.
These important inclusions come at a good time for the boys in blue and gold, who struggled to score against Wellington last week after they scored four goals the match prior against Queensland away with Macallister netting twice.
The depth of the squad is growing as more players return but it doesn’t necessarily mean that things will just happen as Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna noted.
He said, “I think the confidence within our team is growing with every week, Melbourne are the benchmark, they’ve set the standard and if we can get a result against them at the weekend it will put us in good stead or the rest of the season.
“The boys are doing well but we can’t get complacent, there are always things that we can improve on and we’ll be well tested against Melbourne at the weekend.”
For the visiting Victory squad, defender Michael Thwaite seems to have recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of last week’s win over Adelaide United and midfield recruit Jose Luis Lopez returns from international duties with Costa Rica.
They will however be without exciting Brazilian striker Ney Fabiano who faces a nine-match ban for spitting, but the addition of Lopez may allow countryman Carlos Hernandez to be deployed as a third striker.