Muscat’s mind games on Big Blue eve

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has claimed undefeated Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney FC know that the Big V’s best football will see them win in tonight’s Big Blue.

Sydney FC will enter the Round 17 fixture at Etihad Stadium eight points ahead of second-placed Victory and looking to continue their bid to become the A-League’s ‘Invincibles’ by completing the season unbeaten.

Hyundai A-League preview: Victory v Sydney FC

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But based on the two sides’ previous meeting this season – where Victory missed a first-half penalty but still led at the break only to lose 2-1 thanks to a controversial Sydney goal – Muscat is confident his team can end the Sky Blues’ run.

“If we put every brick in place, we’ll beat them,” he said on Wednesday.

“If we prepare well, which we have, if we turn up, if we deliver our best is good enough to beat them. We know that and they know it also.”

Victory are coming off losses away to Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory last week, which Muscat put down to a lack of concentration from his players.

Melbourne Victory

It prompted him to warn Victory that they can’t afford to get caught up in the race for the A-League premiership even though a loss in the Big Blue could very well end the Big V’s hopes of catching Sydney.

“If we start worrying and concentrating on that I dare say we’ll miss the detail and detail in the last two games has cost us points,” Muscat said.

Muscat also paid tribute to club stalwart Leigh Broxham, who is set to become Victory’s games record holder with his 225th A-League appearance on Thursday, moving clear of former striker Archie Thompson.

Broxham, a former team-mate of Muscat’s, in his 11th straight season with Victory and is renowned for his versatility having played all across the defence and in midfield throughout his career.

“I don’t really get sentimental… but this one particularly, I felt the need to remind the players and congratulate him [Broxham] in front of his peers because he’s stood the test of time,” Muscat said.

“He’s really had to earn every one of those games.

“He’s someone who really epitomises what it’s all about at this football club – working hard, getting your head down, being humble, being respectful.”

Jason Geria, Oliver Bozanic, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Marco Rojas are all expected to return to Victory’s starting XI against Sydney.