ACL preview: Melbourne Victory v Kawasaki Frontale

Melbourne Victory can close in on Group F's top two when they host Kawasaki Frontale in a crunch AFC Champions League encounter at 7:30pm (AEDT) on Tuesday night on Fox Sports 503.

After two draws from three games, Kevin Muscat's men know this is their chance to put pressure on Shanghai SIPG and Ulsan Hyundai.

The match comes less than a week after Leroy George's last-gasp penalty rescued a 2-2 draw in Japan that left Kawasaki as outsiders to advance.

Opta Widget: Victory group


Victory have a problem to solve in midfield with Carl Valeri suspended and Matias Sanchez not registered.

Josh Hope and Leigh Broxham are the two leading candidates to take over alongside Terry Antonis.

COACH QUOTES (Kevin Muscat)

"We are hellbent on performing to a certain level.

"They won again on the weekend and the way they play is very attractive.

"Based on the fact [Kawasaki] played on Saturday and then travelled, I dare say it will be a bit of a shootout.

"We want to dictate the tempo as they did last week and we've prepared well in terms of training."

Kevin Muscat
Kevin Muscat.


The J.League champions beat Gamba Osaka 2-0 on the weekend to go second after three matches.

They were held to a 1-1 home draw by Shonan Bellmare the previous week, having won 3-0 at Jubilo Iwata in the opening round.

That form hasn't translated into Asia, where they suffered successive losses before the point against Victory.


Jung Sung-ryong could start in goal after sitting out the first meeting between these teams.

The 33-year-old kept a clean sheet in the weekend win over Gamba Osaka and has 67 caps for Korea Republic behind him.

Kengo Nakamura will also be difficult to ignore for what is a must-win match, the classy veteran having appeared for only eight minutes in the reverse fixture.

Meanwhile, diminutive midfielder Ryota Oshima is aiming to stay in Vahid Halilhodzic's thoughts after breaking into Japan's national team in recent times.

Ryota Oshima
Ryota Oshima is key to Kawasaki's midfield.