Victory to make changes against Guangzhou


Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat vowed to give players an opportunity against Guangzhou Evergrande in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

Victory has lost all three of its Group F matches heading into the encounter with the Chinese powerhouse in Melbourne.

With Victory’s chances of progression from the group slim, Muscat said certain players would be given an opportunity to shine.

“Safe to say there’ll be a few changes to our team tomorrow night, opportunity for certain players,” he told a pre-match news conference on Monday.

“We haven’t finalised that at this stage, but we will make some changes to the team.”

“We will give opportunity. We’ve had quite a few injuries throughout the year as well,” he added.

“Some of it will be out of precaution and some of it will be purely opportunity for others.”

James Troisi has been ruled out of the encounter due to a hamstring injury, while goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas will play.

After facing Guangzhou, Victory takes on the Western Sydney Wanderers in the final game of its Hyundai A-League regular season on Saturday.

Muscat said there was still plenty for Victory to play for, in Asia and against the Wanderers, even though third place is secured domestically.

“I think every training session means so much. I know that. That’s the way I’ll be approaching it from myself personally and I’m not going to accept from anybody else not to be in the same frame of mind,” he said.

“Waiting to turn up two weeks’ time or concerning yourself who we’re playing, whatnot, and all those things isn’t going to help us now. That’s not helping us now.

“We’ve got to stay and remain in that I suppose focus and that zone that these next two games do mean a hell of a lot, it might not from the scoreline, but there’s so much more to games of football than the end result.”