Hernandez to play

Melbourne playmaker Carlos Hernandez is set to take his place in Friday's blockbuster against Sydney, after he was told he wasn't required for Costa Rica's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.

Melbourne playmaker Carlos Hernandez is set to take his place in Friday's blockbuster against Sydney, after he was told he wasn't required for Costa Rica's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.

It was initially thought that Hernandez would be required to return to central America for the matches, ruling him out of Friday's U-NITE clash against Sydney and possibly the following Sunday's clash with Newcastle. But new coach Rene Simoes has overlooked Hernandez in his final squad, clearing the way fro his to stay in Australia.

"Carlos is playing his best football in three years with Melbourne Victory and it's a massive bonus to have him available for our blockbuster U-NITE match against Sydney FC," Melbourne Victory Coach Ernie Merrick said.

"Costa Rica has a new Brazilian coach in Rene Simoes, who has made several changes and selected Carlos in an extended squad, and thankfully for Melbourne Victory he does not have to travel."

Hernandez has been in fantastic form for Melbourne this season, scoring four goals in eight appearances.