Brebner set for return

Melbourne Victory are set to regain experienced midfielder Grant Brebner for Sunday's clash away to Gold Coast United but Billy Celeski is likely to be given another week to recover from a minor setback in his recovery from a knee reconstruction.

Melbourne Victory are set to regain experienced midfielder Grant Brebner for Sunday's clash away to Gold Coast United but Billy Celeski is likely to be given another week to recover from a minor setback in his recovery from a knee reconstruction.

Brebner was a late withdrawal from last Sunday's 2-2 draw with North Queensland with soreness, but coach Ernie Merrick is confident the 32-year-old will be fit and ready to resume his starting role in Sunday's match.

"Brebner is a difficult player to leave out as he's so experienced and the variety of passes he can play to the strikers is so good. I'm certainly thinking about Brebs," the coach said.

Merrick has also been impressed by the progress of Celeski since he collapsed on his previously reconstructed knee at training last week. After fears he may have re-ruptured his ACL were quickly allayed, it was discovered that the midfielder had torn away some scar tissue and as a result actually has increased mobility in the knee.

However, having had a restricted pre-season and having missed some training, Merrick said he is unlikely to risk Celeski just yet.

"I've been put under pressure by Grant Brebner and Billy Celeski. I thought they'd need another week, but they are actually training really well," Merrick said. "Two boys who are out of the squad are fighting for inclusion."

"The trouble with Billy is playing in midfield you have to have a really good engine to do a lot of work. I don't think he's up to a high enough level of fitness yet."

Melbourne are yet to register a win this season having drawn two matches and lost the other. But Merrick remains confident that things are on the right track and that it is just a matter of converting the chances that are being created.

"I'd love to have another 28 shots at goal," Merrick said in reference to the Victory's attacking dominance against the Fury. "That's what strategy is all about, maximising your goalscoring opportunities and minimising your opposition's."

"I'd like to put some of those away though and we didn't manage to do that."