Melbourne Victory to take on Beijing Guoan with weakened attack

Melbourne Victory will have to work hard to find goals when they take on Beijing Guoan in the Asian Champions League tomorrow night.

Melbourne Victory will have to work hard to find goals when they take on Beijing Guoan in the Asian Champions League tomorrow night.

The Victory will start with Robbie Kruse and Nik Mrdja up front but neither player has hit a rich vein of form in recent times and add to that the possible absence of attacking midfielders Carlos Hernandez and Nick Ward plus the fact that Grant Brebner and Tom Pondeljak have been ruled out and it looks grim for the Melbourne club.

A win is vital to keep their Round of 16 hopes alive but with such a decimated attack will make life very difficult against the reigning Chinese Super League champions.

Victory coach Ernie Merrick confirmed that Hernandez would not be able to start because of a virus but said they would try to get him up to make some sort of impact late in the piece.

“Hopefully we'll get Carlos off the bench, Robbie's a goal-scorer, Nik's a goal-scorer, I think Marvin (Angulo) can score goals, he's doing it at training, we just have to get him to do it on match day," Merrick said.

"It's been a good preparation, but we've had limited players. Now we've been struck with a virus. We seem to get over one thing and we encounter another."

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