Archie a chance to start

Melbourne Victory midfielder Billy Celeski says returning striker Archie Thompson is a chance to make his first start of the season against Perth Glory on Sunday.

Melbourne Victory midfielder Billy Celeski says returning striker Archie Thompson is a chance to make his first start of the season against Perth Glory on Sunday.

Thompson got 45 minutes of game-time under his belt against Gold Coast United last weekend, his first run on the park since going down with a knee injury in last season's grand final.

The fan-favourite, who came on at half-time for Mate Dugandzic, lacked polish but showed plenty of appetite against Gold Coast, who nevertheless ran out 1-0 winners.

It was a familiar sight for Victory fans, who have become accustomed to Melbourne's inability to string victories together this season.

As was the case once more, the Victory controlled possession and moved confidently across the park but failed to capitalise on the scoresheet.

Admittedly, injuries have so far conspired to limit Melbourne's striking options, and the trend continued on Saturday as in-form striker Robbie Kruse joined Brazilian import Ricardinho on the sidelines.

But Thompson's return to the starting line-up could provide the finishing quality the Victory need as they push for a finals berth.

Celeski says the whole club wants to see Thompson starting at nib Stadium on Sunday, but the final decision will rest with the 32-year-old.

"I think that's more down to Archie's call. I know even with me (coach) Ernie Merrick left it with me to make a decision, so he's obviously going to travel and he'll play a big part whether he starts or not," Celeski said.

"We're going to be hoping that he a big game for us. We love having him out there as well and he makes the difference for us. He's a crowd favourite, the whole crowd loves him."

The loss of Kruse is another huge blow for the Victory, with the 22-year-old striker in terrific form with four goals from as many games prior to Saturday's thigh injury.

Despite reports he could be sidelined for a month, Celeski says he's hopeful Kruse will be back on the pitch sooner.

"He was moving around today a little doing some really light stuff, so given that hopefully it won't be too long," he said.

"He'll be assessed by the physios and the medical staff and we'll know something a little later on."