Victory believe ACL travel will hurt Roar

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James Troisi and James Donachie have enough ACL experience to know how tough Brisbane's task will be ahead of this week's semi-final in Melbourne

Melbourne Victory are aware of the advantage they will have in Sunday's A-League semi-final against Brisbane Roar, who are in Thailand this week for the AFC Champions League (ACL).

Roar will face Muangthong United on Wednesday night in a must-win ACL fixture before flying to Melbourne from Bangkok for their semi-final against Victory.

Victory expect Brisbane coach John Aloisi to rotate his squad for the trip to Thailand, with the likes of Arana, Tommy Oar and Jacob Pepper likely to start versus the Group E leaders.

But with Brisbane's elimination final against Western Sydney Wanderers having gone to extra time and penalties on Friday night, Victory's James Troisi and James Donachie - who both have ACL experience - indicated the Big V will have an advantage come the weekend.

"I've played ACL before, I know what it's like. It's a lot of long flights," Donachie said on Monday.

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"They've got the game Wednesday, so we'll have a better idea who they take over and who they're going to rest. But it's a good advantage."

Troisi added: "It's definitely not going to be easy for them but in saying that, that's the way it is.

"I'm not sure what type of squad they took over. I'm sure they'll rest a few players.

Corey Brown Luke DeVere Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers A-League 21042017

Brisbane Roar

"Obviously the game the other day was quite tough for them, went into extra time but we can't focus on that and 'say it'll be easy'... because if we think like that we're going to be punished."

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If Roar are to qualify for the ACL Round of 16, they will need at least a draw at Muangthong's SCG Stadium, which is also known as the Thunderdome.

Having had a week off, Victory can't wait to get back into action after stuttering into the A-League finals, with Troisi explaining they have used the time to "work on a few different things".

Kevin Muscat's side effectively had second spot confirmed for the last month of the regular season and have won just two of their past six games, including a 1-0 loss away to Brisbane.

"That was on us but we can look forward [now]. We've got something to achieve. We've got something to win and go out there," Donachie said.

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"If we didn't have motivation for this game we'd been in a lot of strife but everyone does."

GFX Thomas Broich Goal

Last season, Roar defeated Victory 2-1 in an elimination final at Suncorp Stadium with Thomas Broich scoring the winner in second-half stoppage time.

Donachie was on the winning side that day and having swapped camps this season, the centre-back conceded some of his former team-mates had been reminding him of that result since Friday.

"Definitely a bit of banter flying around," he said.

"Started as soon as they won [against Wanderers]... if I can do them over in this final, I'm probably going to be one of the happiest players on the park."

 

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