Melbourne Victory likely to go into Adelaide meeting unaltered

Melbourne Victory will most likely take the pitch with an unchanged line-up for tomorrow night’s final regular season meeting with Adelaide United.

Victory coach Ernie Merrick will fight back the urge to start star players Carlos Hernandez and Archie Thompson as it poses too much of a risk and will go with the basis of the team which have won their last three matches.

Thompson has been out of action since injuring his hamstring on December 18 whilst Hernandez missed the 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets last week but neither player, along with Thai defender Surat Sukha, will displace anybody in the current first team says Merrick.

"I don't want to change the starting 11 too much," Merrick said.

"In the midfield at the moment we've got three attacking midfielders in Tom Pondeljak, Mate Dugandzic and Marvin Angulo, and they're rewarded because they are playing really well.

"Carlos was out last week, Archie's just determined to get on the field and Surat Sukha, knowing his quality either as a midfielder or fullback.

"You want momentum (going into the finals), so you want to win the game. You start off with the line-up that has been very successful, then off the bench you bring high-quality players in when you need them.

"If it means in the last 15 minutes giving Surat Sukha a run to give Diogo Ferreira or Matthew Kemp a rest, then to me you're adding to the team."

As for the last time these two teams met, Merrick said it was a result he would rather not think about.

"It was very tough to lose 4-1 to Adelaide the last time," he added.

"Forget about records and the number of times we've beaten them. That was very tough, to do it in front of our own crowd – it's very hard to take.

"We haven't lost since then, that's all we can do, perform on the field of play. If you look at the record we've only lost two of our last 14 matches, that (Adelaide defeat) was the last one."

Have your say

Related Images