Melbourne Victory put stars on ice for Korea trip ahead of Sydney FC final

Comments()
An inexperienced squad will finish off the club's Asian adventure

Melbourne Victory have opted to rest 10 players from the Asian Champions League as they prepare for Sunday's semi-final against Sydney FC.

Kevin Muscat's side face a 20-hour trip to Korea for a dead rubber against Daegu FC on Wednesday night and have decided to rest foreign stars Keisuke Honda, Ola Toivonen, Kosta Barbarouses, Georg Niedermeier and Raul Baena ahead of the knockout match versus the Sky Blues at Netstrata Jubilee Oval.

Skipper Carl Valeri, goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas, Leigh Broxham, Terry Antonis and Anthony Lesiotis have also remained in Melbourne to be fresh for the weekend's clash.

Five players have travelled to Korea from Victory's squad that defeated Wellington Phoenix 3-1 in the elimination final on Friday, including Thomas Deng, Elvis Kamsoba, James Donachie, Storm Roux and Kenny Athiu.

Hamstrung playmaker James Troisi will also be absent having not recovered from a hamstring injury suffered against Adelaide on April 19 - and he is still in doubt for Sunday's match in the Harbour City.

Article continues below

Victory are already eliminated from ACL group F having only picked up one point from their first four matches and will now have meaningless matches against Daegu and Sanfrecce Hiroshima (May 22).

However only Sydney FC stand in the way of the club qualifying for their second consecutive A-League grand final as they shoot for their third championship in five seasons.

The game will be a rematch of last year's epic semi-final at Allianz Stadium that saw Victory get over the Sky Blues 3-2 in extra time courtesy of Antonis' winner.

Close