Champions League preview: Victory v Sanfrecce


Melbourne Victory will bid farewell to Kevin Muscat and Carl Valeri when it hosts Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the AFC Champions League.


Muscat, a club great who won eight trophies as a player and head coach, will take charge of Victory for the final time in Melbourne on Wednesday.

It was announced on Monday that the former Australia international would leave Victory at the end of the season after 14 years at the club.

Valeri, 34, said last month this season would be his last and he is set to make his final appearance.

The club captain is set to bid farewell in what would be his 136th game in all competitions for Victory.

While Victory cannot qualify from Group F, Sanfrecce is already guaranteed progression.

Victory is in action for the first time since its Hyundai A-League campaign was ended with a Semi Final defeat to Sydney FC on May 12.

Ola Toivonen scored his 16th goal of the season in the loss and the Swedish striker is one of three players to net for Victory in the AFC Champions League this campaign.

Toivonen, Keisuke Honda and Jai Ingham have scored Victory’s three goals in Group F.

Victory has only lost four of 22 home games in the AFC Champions League, while winning 11.

Sanfrecce is guaranteed to finish top of the group after four wins from five matches so far.

Player in focus

Last time

AFC Champions League 2019 group stage
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-1 Melbourne Victory
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Hiroshima Athletic Stadium, Hiroshima

After Shunki Higashi’s opener for Sanfrecce, Honda drew Victory level in the second half.

But just as Victory was pushing, Sanfrecce found a late winner through Daiki Watari.

As it stands

Head to head

Group stage, 2019: Sanfrecce 2-1 Victory at Hiroshima Athletic Stadium

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Kick-off: 8.00pm AEST

Victory Medal