Victory to play the kids
SHANGHAI IPG has brought a pair of superstars but Melbourne Victory is still likely to play the kids in their dead rubber Asian Champions League clash tonight.
Big-name Brazilians Elkeson and Hulk have travelled for the AAMI Park match but Victory boss Kevin Muscat says he’ll save his own senior players for Sunday night’s ALeague elimination final with Adelaide United
“There will be opportunities for some players who have maybe not played so much football recently. It’s a good opportunity for individuals and for the team to go out and put on a performance for themselves and the football club,” he said yesterday.
Victory cannot qualify for the knockout stages after its 6-2 loss to Ulsan Hyundai earlier this month, while the Chinese Super League club is already through.
The injection of Victory’s next-gen talent gives the otherwise moot match a point of interest.
Cult striker Kenny Athiu, emerging pair Josh Hope and Christian Theoharous and backup gloveman Matt Action are all certain starters for Victory. Cameron McGilp and Pierce Waring are also likely to earn their first start as Muscat protects senior players like Besart Berisha, Carl Valeri and Leroy George for Sunday.