GCU can cover Smeltz

Gold Coast United maestro Zenon Caravella has backed a throng of budding young strikers to step up against Melbourne Victory this Sunday in the absence of Turkish-bound Kiwi international Shane Smeltz.

Gold Coast United maestro Zenon Caravella has backed a throng of budding young strikers to step up against Melbourne Victory this Sunday in the absence of Turkish-bound Kiwi international Shane Smeltz.

Caravella, who provides much of the potency from the United midfield, could not deny the loss of the dual Golden Boot winner but sees a long line of potential replacements.

"Shane is a big loss for us, that's for sure," Caravella said.

"But we have a lot of promising young players who can be very dangerous."

Neither Caravalla nor United coach Miron Bleiberg would be tempted into revealing who would fill the hole for Sunday's home match against Melbourne but the former was happy to bandy a few names about.

"Ben Halloran, Golgol (Mebrahtu) played a few games last year; Andrew Barisic has shown he can do the job," Caravella said.

The diminutive dynamo then suggested that the transition period will see players from other areas of the pitch attempt to help fill the void collectively until one man steps out of the pack or United signs a replacement.

"We just need to share to goals around a bit. We do everything else really well so if we can all do a bit more I think we will be fine,' he said.

Last time these teams met Caravella scored the only goal of his Hyundai A-league career - a 25-metre scorcher into the top-left corner that won the game and sent United to the top of the ladder.

Asked if he might repeat that effort in aid of the cause, he replied: "I'm by no means a prolific goal-scorer so I'll just be doing the things I do in the midfield and hopefully ill bag a couple along the way."

"You have to shoot to score so we will be doing plenty of that on the weekend."

United and Victory sit locked together low on the competition table but this clash promises plenty of highlights.

That last meeting was the spiteful Skilled Park clash which saw United defender Steve Pantelidis suspended for five matches for an off-the-ball challenge on Robbie Kruse and Victory captain Kevin Muscat banned for two after an apparent elbow on rival skipper Jason Culina.

"There is definitely a good rivalry between us," Caravella said.

"It's always a good battle between us and Melbourne; it should add to the excitement of the game."