Archie's on his mind

Sydney FC failed to contain Melbourne striker Archie Thompson for 20 minutes the last time the teams met, so how are they going to handle the livewire striker over a full game in Saturday's Hyundai A-League grand final?

Sydney FC failed to contain Melbourne striker Archie Thompson for 20 minutes the last time the teams met, so how are they going to handle the livewire striker over a full game in Saturday's Hyundai A-League grand final?

That was the question veteran FC defender Simon Colosimo is openly pondering - and struggling to answer - just 48 hours out from the decider at Etihad Stadium.

Thompson, resplendent in a 'moon boot' this time last month, came off the bench to score the decisive goal in Melbourne's 2-2 draw with Sydney in the second leg of the major semi-final.

The opportunist strike - made possible by Kevin Muscat's quick free kick - gave Victory direct passage to the GF and Sydney nightmares for the ensuing two weeks.

"Is he ever not looking on his form?" Colosimo said of Thompson on Thursday.

"I don't expect anything else from Archie."

"He's had a little bit of time off, they've done really well with him to get him right and he looked sharp a couple of weeks ago when we played him."

"That was only for 20 minutes - I can't imagine what he's going to do for 90."

Colosimo's hopes of containing Thompson - along with Victory attacking forces Carlos Hernandez and Robbie Kruse - received a significant boost on Thursday when Qantas Socceroos defender Shannon Cole was passed fit to make his return from a hamstring strain.

The right back has missed the Sky Blues' last two finals matches, with Seb Ryall doing a sound job as his deputy.

Coach Vitezslav Lavicka must now choose between the pair for the biggest match of the year.

"Shannon is ready to play. He joined us for training yesterday and seemed well and this morning he continued with the team," Lavicka confirmed.

"The medical staff said now he's okay and he himself is comfortable as well."

"I am happy that both players are available to play. They are different types of players, but we will make a decision tomorrow in Melbourne."