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Melbourne Victory preparing for last match with Kruse

Robbie Kruse will play his final game for the Melbourne Victory for about a month tomorrow night. The 22-year old striker has been called up to the Australian national squad for the Asian Cup in January so will travel to the Middle East to go into the training with the Socceroos but not before he takes on the Central Coast Mariners on New Year's Eve.

Just as the Victory were seemingly cruising along, they first lose Archie Thompson to injury and now Kruse, who has scored 10 goals to be the second-highest scorer in the competition.

Victory coach Ernie Merrick admitted the achievement was a brilliant one for Kruse who came to the Victory from Brisbane Roar as a troubled soul.

"It's a tremendous reward for Robbie himself, he has worked so hard to achieve national selection and fully deserves it - it's great to see," Merrick said.

But as the Victory prepare for Kruse's departure, they will welcome midfielder Grant Brebner back into the line-up.

The influential Scotsman missed Monday's 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets because of suspension but will come straight back into the eleven for the Mariners clash.

"It's good to have his (Brebner's) quality back in the team, he's pivotal in our team in regards to keeping possession and playing forward passes," Merrick added.

''I felt we were a bit disjointed in midfield (against Newcastle), we gave the ball away which is unusual for us - but given there were five new starters in the starting 11 it's quite understandable."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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