Victory near full strength for Jets test in Geelong


Melbourne Victory has a near full-strength squad to pick from for Monday night’s clash with Newcastle Jets at Simonds Stadium in Geelong.

Victory’s players have recovered well from Wednesday night’s 4-1 win over Central Coast Mariners, which was played in stifling conditions.

The squad has had four days to recover and prepare for its home game against the Jets in Geelong.

Only back-up goalkeeper Alastair Bray, sidelined with a shoulder injury, is unavailable for Victory.

“We’ve had to monitor the players this week, but they’ve recovered exceptionally well,” said Victory head coach Kevin Muscat on Sunday.

“As you could imagine, with a good result they’re buoyant. Everyone’s available and we look forward to tomorrow night’s game.

“We’re going to have to be at our best to get a result. It’s as simple as that.

“You can’t have an afternoon off, you can’t have a half off or you’ll get punished in this competition.”

It’s the second time in five weeks Victory and the Jets have faced off, with Victory triumphant 2-0 at AAMI Park on November 26.

And it’s the second time in as many matches a former Victory player returns to face his former teammates, after Connor Pain and Scott Galloway featured for the Mariners last week.

In-form winger Andrew Nabbout, who spent three years at Victory, has been one of Newcastle’s most lively performers this season, scoring three goals in nine appearances.

“I’m pleased for him,” Muscat said of Nabbout. “Andy’s done very well. He’ll pose a threat, and he’s posed a threat to quite a few teams already this season.

“We’ve played them before, and they’ve got some threats. On their day they can be very good.”

Tickets for Victory’s match against the Jets at Simonds Stadium are available here.