Victory keen to test Marcos Flores
Desperate to ready him for the upcoming A-League finals campaign, Melbourne Victory look certain to start Argentine star Marcos Flores in their Saturday clash with Perth Glory.
Flores has been out for four matches with quadriceps and back problems.
But coach Ange Postecoglou is prepared to risk Flores at AAMI Park if he pulls up fit after Friday's training session - believing it is critical the midfielder gets some game time ahead of the finals starting in a fortnight.
"There's only two A-League games to go and then the finals, so if he misses too much more football it's going to affect his capacity in the big games," Postecoglou said on Friday.
"If he's okay, we'll start with him.
"With two games to go, there's no real risk there. If he misses another game or two because we're being conservative, I wouldn't be throwing him into a final."
Flores will be one of three forced changes to the Victory side, with Archie Thompson, Mark Milligan and Marco Rojas all away on international duty.
Flores and skipper Adrian Leijer - back from suspension - are both pencilled in with Postecoglou likely to promote one of his young attackers to replace Rojas.
Francesco Stella or Andrew Nabbout would appear the most likely options.
The Victory's match against the Glory will have no bearing on their finals campaign - a home final already guaranteed as they will finish either third or fourth.
But the Glory are still desperately seeking a top-six spot, though they will need maximum points and favours elsewhere to make it happen.
They are also without key players Michael Thwaite and Shane Smeltz with their national teams, while skipper Jacob Burns is suspended.
The Victory have won just one of their past six matches.
But Postecoglou believes the signs have been good in their three most recent matches - including a hard-fought draw with desperate Sydney FC last weekend.
"Our form the last few weeks has been pretty good. Last week I thought we played really well and created some good opportunities and from our perspective, should have won the game," he said.
"You don't want to go into the finals with any doubts about form or having a flat spot.
"If we get continuation of the last three weeks, we'll be in good shape."