Archie on GCU alert

Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson isn't expecting an easy battle with Gold Coast United on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, even though the visitors go into the game weakened by injury and suspension.

Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson isn't expecting an easy battle with Gold Coast United on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, even though the visitors go into the game weakened by injury and suspension.

Already without Daniel Piorkowski (ankle), Robson (knee), Jefferson (knee), Adama Traore (knee) and Steve Pantelidis (suspension), coach Miron Bleiberg also has to do without Jess Vanstrattan (thumb), Bas Van den Brink (suspension) and Kristian Rees (suspension) for the trip south.

But while Bleiberg has had to call on Andrew Barisic, Steven Lustica, Golgol Mebrahtu, Jerrad Tyson, Ben Wearing and Steven Topalovic, who have played seven Hyundai A-League matches between them, Thompson isn't ready to dismiss the undermanned opponent.

"Obviously they're going to have some players that haven't played," Thompson said.

"I don't know who's not playing for them ... there's obviously a lot of suspensions and injuries so there's going to be a few young boys, but you know when young boys come into the squad they're going to be playing out of their skin, so like I said it's still going to be a difficult game."

Thompson's Gold Coast counterpart Shane Smeltz, who is the league's leading scorer this season with 11 goals in 13 outings, is under no illusions that he and his team-mates will have their work cut out for them on Saturday.

"We as a team we realise it's going to be a massive challenge, we're playing against a really good team in front of a good crowd and we're taking it as though it is a big challenge for us," Smeltz said.

"We've got some young boys coming in and a depleted squad but we're not going to look at the negatives, even last week we were down to 10 men for the majority of the game away from home in Adelaide and we were unlucky not to take away the three points."

"So we see it as a challenge and we're going to hopefully live up to it."

With 32 Hyundai A-League goals from 52 matches playing for Wellington Phoenix and now for Gold Coast United, which compares more than favourably with Thompson's record of 43 goals in 91 games, Smeltz wants to break his duck at the Docklands venue.

"I was just talking before, I haven't scored at this ground I think, so it's something I'm looking at doing and if that can lift our team and help get the three points you know I'm all for it," Smeltz added.