Sport Victory focused on A-League finals

09:21  07 april  2018
09:21  07 april  2018 Source:   msn.com

Victory down manic Wanderers 3-1

  Victory down manic Wanderers 3-1 With goals to Leroy George, Besart Berisha and Thomas Deng Melbourne Victory have defeated A-League rivals Western Sydney 3-1.Goals to Leroy George, Besart Berisha and Thomas Deng earned Victory three crucial points at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

After a mid-week mauling in South Korea, Melbourne Victory will hope the host comforts of AAMI Park return the club to the A-League winner's list.© AAP Image/Julian Smith After a mid-week mauling in South Korea, Melbourne Victory will hope the host comforts of AAMI Park return the club to the A-League winner's list. Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says all contract discussions at the club have been sidelined until season's end as he galvanises the club for a last push to the A-League finals.

Well beaten in a mid-week Asian Champions League outing in South Korea, Victory need three points on Sunday night against Wellington if they're to keep hopes of a home final within their control.

It's why Muscat's focus is on the football - not players' futures - as they head into the final furlong.

Gombau still holds AL finals hope for WSW

  Gombau still holds AL finals hope for WSW Beaten over consecutive Saturday nights in Melbourne, Josep Gombau is refusing to snuff the flickering light of Western Sydney's A-League season.The Wanderers fell out of the top six with successive losses at AAMI Park on the last two Saturday nights.

"This game is a big game for us - huge," Muscat told AAP.

When Muscat does find the time to think about his playing group for next season, he'll find a few players requiring attention.

Leroy George© AAP Image/Julian Smith Leroy George Senior players Leroy George, Carl Valeri, Lawrence Thomas, Leigh Broxham, James Donachie, Matias Sanchez, Christian Theoharous and Stefan Nigro are without deals to play next year.

"I'm always having private conversations with individuals. It's the nature of the business that we're all in," he said.

"It is a difficult one because no one likes to be in that situation but there's so many blocks to fall into place that it affects a number of people.

Victory handed ACL drubbing in South Korea

  Victory handed ACL drubbing in South Korea It has been ugly for Kevin Muscat's men in South Korea, where Ulsan Hyundai have put six past Melbourne Victory to reach the Asian Champions League last 16. Melbourne Victory have crashed out of the Asian Champions League (ACL) in wicked fashion, losing 6-2 to Ulsan Hyundai.The record ACL defeat ends Victory's hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the competition.Kenny Athiu's first Victory goal and Kosta Barbarouses' consolation effort will do little to hearten Victory fans, well beaten on Wednesday night in South Korea.Lawrence Thomas set the tone when his howler gifted Junior Negao an opener.

"All of the discussions now will wait until the end of the season."

Each player's circumstances are unique.

George is likely to attract attention in Australia and abroad after a stellar campaign.

Thomas, despite his mid-week howler, and Donachie might also find interested suitors.

Stalwarts Valeri and Broxham are nearing the end of decorated careers, with Broxham at least near certain to play on.

Muscat doesn't believe the uncertainty is affecting players as he heads into their final home game of the regular season.

While the visiting Phoenix sit last, Sunday's fixture has the potential to be a real headache for Victory.

An already skinny squad has been hit by suspensions to Rhys Williams and Kosta Barbarouses.

With most of his team spending a collective 40 hours in transit for their Asian exploits, Muscat faces another tricky exercise in player management in selecting his team.

Jets happy to face desperate Glory in AL

  Jets happy to face desperate Glory in AL The prospect of facing a Perth side fighting for their A-League season is something out-of-form Newcastle should relish, according to coach Ernie Merrick. Playing a desperate Perth Glory is the perfect A-League finals preparation for the high-flying but suddenly out-of-form Newcastle Jets, according to their coach Ernie Merrick.After thrilling A-League fans for most of the season with their attacking approach, second-placed Newcastle have stumbled over the past couple of rounds. They were thrashed 5-2 at Adelaide and last Sunday lost 3-0 at home to Melbourne City, failing to score for the first time this season.

Terry Antonis and Sanchez, who didn't travel, should be simple selections.

Elsewhere in the side, players - including captain Valeri and Besart Berisha - could clearly benefit with a weekend off.

"You might say he got a rest the other night," Muscat said of Berisha, who was substituted at halftime in Ulsan.

"There's quite a few bodies in the same sort of position ... we'll wait and see who he recovers."


* Victory are on a three-game winning streak at home

* But against Wellington, they've lost their past two at AAMI Park

* If selected, ex-Victory man Scott Galloway will play his 100th A-League game. In every meeting against Victory, he's lost

Zidane leaves Ronaldo, Modric and Bale out of Malaga trip .
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane left top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo at home for his side's Liga game away to basement club Malaga on Sunday, also resting Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Raphael Varane. Ronaldo has been rested for four of Real's last five away games in La Liga in order to stay sharp for their Champions League games, missing their trips to Leganes, Espanyol and their last outing against Las Palmas.

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