Gui Finkler is set to return to Melbourne Victory's starting line-up against Central Coast Mariners on Friday after recovering from a calf injury, as the Hyundai A-League title holders look to surge up the table.
Victory coach Kevin Muscat confirmed on Thursday that the attacking midfielder will be available for the game in Geelong after missing the past two matches.
After a breakthrough 1-0 triumph away to Newcastle Jets on Sunday, Muscat is looking for his team to take another step against Central Coast at Simonds Stadium.
"Hopefully last week settles the nerves, so to speak, or that edginess to our game," he told reporters.
"It was certainly nice to go away, you know, we haven't been to Newcastle and brought back points for quite some time.
"So it was pleasing and we had to earn the result in a different way last week, we had to work very, very hard to get that result."
With the Big V providing five players to Aurelio Vidmar's Olyroos squad, which is training in Dubai this week ahead of the AFC U-23 Championship that start next week, the reigning champions look set to be undermanned over the next fortnight or so.
Thomas Deng, Jason Geria, Connor Pain, Scott Galloway and Giancarlo Gallifuoco are absent but Muscat is not concerned.
Victory will bring in new signing Jai Ingham and central defender Nick Ansell into their squad against the Mariners, while Finkler is likely to replace Archie Thompson in the starting XI.
Ingham was unveiled as a Victory player on Wednesday, with the former Brisbane Roar winger joining from Hume City.
Muscat declared Victory have "some catching up to do" after their five-game winless run that preceded their win over the Jets.
Victory sit seven points behind leaders Brisbane Roar but Muscat wants more than a win on Friday.
"We're in a results-based industry, without doubt, [but] the idea tomorrow night is to put those two things together. Put a good performance together and get the three points," he said.