Kemp set for return

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick says he has no concerns about starting Matthew Kemp in his comeback match from a knee reconstruction against Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick says he has no concerns about starting Matthew Kemp in his comeback match from a knee reconstruction against Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park.

Kemp, who hasn't played at Hyundai A-League level since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against North Queensland back in February, will return to the squad along with fellow full-back Surat Sukha.

They replace the suspended Adrian Leijer and Tom Pondeljak who has picked up a minor back injury.

Merrick said he would prefer to start one or the other of Kemp and Sukha against the competition leaders, but probably not both.

"Surat's had fitness issues and Kempy is recovering from injury but they both had a full game against Newcastle last week with the youth team and both played really well," said Merrick.

"One of them will be in the starting XI."

Asked whether it would be a gamble to start Kemp in a game likely to be played at a high tempo, Merrick said: "We've trained him extra hard."

"We could have brought him back two weeks ago."

"I think there's no problem in starting either of the players but I don't expect them to last for 90 minutes."

Merrick cast the Victory as underdogs for Friday night's match and said the challenge for his team was to put together 90 minutes for the first time this season.

"We haven't kept possession, created opportunities and defended well for the full 90 minutes and we're pretty keen to get that right," Merrick said.

"I could go through a number of games where I thought that was really good football and we've lost it on a penalty or a free kick or we've let ourselves down with slack marking."

"It keeps coming back to playing for 90 minutes consistently well."

"We've got the squad to do it, we're fit and we're ready to go."