Fowler heads to Melbourne

The Robbie Fowler show that has so captivated the Hyundai A-League this season is finally heading to Melbourne with Victory fans the last in the country to get the opportunity to see the Liverpool legend in the flesh.

The Robbie Fowler show that has so captivated the Hyundai A-League this season is finally heading to Melbourne with Victory fans the last in the country to get the opportunity to see the Liverpool legend in the flesh.

Incredibly, Fowler's North Queensland Fury makes its first visit to the home of the reigning champion on Friday night in what is the penultimate round of the 27-game season.

While Melbourne has played the A-League newcomers twice this season, both of those games have been in Townsville with the Victory winning the first one early in the season but losing the second encounter just after Christmas.

Fowler, who has scored nine goals in his debut season with the Fury, returned to the starting line-up for Tuesday night's 2-1 win over Newcastle following his bust-up with coach Ian Ferguson after being named on the bench the previous week against Brisbane.

The 34-year-old refused to play after being named on the bench, which set off a week of speculation as to whether he will see out his two-year contract with the Fury, which Fowler has strenuously denied.

So while it looked like for a while that the A-League's biggest and most passionate set of supporters would be denied the opportunity of seeing the man that Liverpool fans used to call 'God' play live, Fowler now appears likely to make his first appearance in Melbourne on Friday night.

And he will be doing so in a match the Fury must win to keep their slim finals hopes alive, while league leader Melbourne also has to win to keep its place in the top two ahead of its huge last-round showdown against third-placed Sydney.

Certainly, young Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Mitch Langerak can hardly wait to face the Liverpool legend in such a vital match and is unfazed by the pressure that will accompany him on Friday night as he tries to keep Fowler and the Fury out.

"When we played them last time in Townsville it was a privilege to be on the same pitch as Robbie," Langerak said.

"Everyone knows his history and what he has done."

"And while you do get the butterflies knowing you are coming up against him, what other position would you want to be in?"

Langerak said the Victory were determined to maintain their place in the top two with only two points separating the top three sides in Victory, Gold Coast and Sydney with just two rounds remaining.

Only the top two sides at the end of the home-and-away season have the opportunity of hosting the A-League grand final and considering that no team is yet to win an A-League grand final on the opposition's home ground, the importance of finishing in the top two at season's end is obvious to the Victory's hopes of becoming the first club to win successive championships.

"It's all in our hands," Langerak said of Melbourne's hopes of a top-two finish.

"If we go out there and win our remaining two matches then it will look after itself but this weekend (against the Fury) is the most important game for us at this point in time."

"If we can get the three points against them then we will definitely have a lot of confidence going into the Sydney match on the last day of the season."