ACL: Eriksson's mind games with Muscat

Shanghai SIPG coach Sven Goran-Eriksson says star attacker Asamoah Gyan may play in tonight's crucial ACL clash with Melbourne Victory in China.

SIPG will be missing defensive midfielder Cai Huikang through suspension but coach Eriksson insisted the former EPL striker Gyan is fully fit, despite the Ghanaian having failed to start the past four matches.

"Asamoah Gyan is fully recovered but I can't tell you if he is in the starting 11 or not," Eriksson told reporters at the pre-match press conference.

"Let the coach of our opponent worry about it. The only disadvantage of Gyan now is that he hasn't played much after recovery."

Asamoah Gyan

Melbourne Victory could lose to Shanghai SIPG on Tuesday night and still qualify for the AFC Champions League's (ACL) knockout stage but Kevin Muscat wants his team to get the job done in China.

Victory are looking to get out of their ACL group for the first time in five attempts and will enter their clash at Shanghai Stadium undefeated in Group G but with only six points after three straight draws.

ACL preview: Shanghai SIPG v Melbourne Victory

Even if Muscat's men lose to SIPG (9 points), a win at home against Gamba Osaka (2) on the final matchday would be enough to take Victory into the Round of 16 due to their superior head-to-head record with Suwon Bluewings (3).

"We've watched Shanghai and, understanding their strengths, they have many effective players in attack," Muscat told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Monday.

"I'm sure during periods of the game we'll have to defend, and defend well.

"But our way of playing will be to try and score.

"The fact that we'll have to defend well to create some chances of our own, understanding the quality of the opposition, is going to be difficult, but it's a challenge we look forward to."

Kevin Muscat and Archie Thompson at Melbourne Victory's press conference ahead of their ACL opener.

Muscat indicated that apart from Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Gui Finkler - who aren't in Victory's ACL squad - the entire starting XI from Friday night's 2-1 elimination final loss to Brisbane Roar could play again versus SIPG.

"We haven't finalised the starting team, but everybody has travelled and we don't have anybody suspended for the game," the coach said.

"Once we make a final assessment on the players in the morning, we will select the team that we think is best to get a positive result."

In the reverse fixture at AAMI Park in February, Victory triumphed 2-1 although SIPG had yet to begin their Chinese Super League campaign.

Since that loss, SIPG have won five of eight matches in all competitions, including their last three.