Victory may stick with winning formula in Adelaide


Melbourne Victory may select an unchanged starting XI for the fourth straight week on Saturday night against Adelaide United.

A healthy squad and solid form in the past month has made it difficult to break into the first team, and head coach Kevin Muscat may trust the same group to start against the Reds at Coopers Stadium.

“There’s a possibility, rewarding players for their performances,” he said.

“But at the same time we’ll assess the group. A few of the boys have played quite a few games, but they’re feeling good.

“We haven’t made the final decision, but they’ve put themselves in a position to be selected.”

One of those waiting for his opportunity is German recruit Max Beister, who scored on debut and has since been mainly used as a substitute while he has undertaken a heavy conditioning phase in training.

“It’s been difficult with the performances of players in his position, to get him game time,” Muscat said.

“It’s been difficult for him. He arrived here and he’s worked ever so hard to get himself into the position where his fitness is at the moment.

“He’s maybe got to the point now where maybe probably needs a bit of a breather, because you can’t maintain that.

“Maybe we need to ease off on him a little bit in training, to maximise where he’ll be in four or five weeks.”

Sweltering temperatures are expected at kick-off on Saturday night, similar to those experienced by Victory against Central Coast Mariners on December 28.

“It’s going to be warm. We’ve experienced that a couple of games ago, and we’ve experienced it during the week as well. It’s not going to be a concern for us,” Muscat said.

“It’ll be a difficult game. There’s not too much love lost between the two sets of fans and the two states.

“No doubt we’ll travel really well, and the game being a Saturday night gives our members and fans a better chance to get over there.”

Victory’s match against Adelaide will be broadcast live and exclusively on Fox Sports 505 from 7.45pm AEDT on Saturday night.