Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick is using Saturday night's clash with Fulham as a chancefor players to push for first team spots.

The championship-winning coach would also love the Cottagers to play a full-strength side to make the pre-season friendly a real challenge.

"Fulham was always going to be a top match," Merrick said yesterday. "The stronger they are, the better it is for us. They'll be on the rebound (after losing to Gold Coast United) to play a really good game against us and that's ideal.

"This match on Saturday is all about fighting for a first-11 spot. Right from the goalkeepers to the striking partnership to the midfield."