Muscat: Victory to take patient approach

Victory coach Kevin Muscat is expecting another evenly matched contest at Coopers Stadium in Saturday's blockbuster between the Big V and hosts Adelaide United.

The visitors will need to seize any chances they are presented with to earn what could be three crucial points in the congested race for a top-two finish.

"We'll be patient, albeit with a very attacking intent," Muscat told reporters on Friday.

"We'll ... wait for those moments, because we've certainly got the personnel throughout our team that can make a difference."

Meanwhile, Victory are taking a cautious approach with Kosta Barbarouses as the Hyundai A-League finals approach, with the in-form forward not selected for New Zealand duty as a consequence.

The 25-year-old missed Victory's 3-0 win away to Western Sydney Wanderers last Friday and will also sit out a crunch game at arch-rivals Adelaide United this weekend due to a hamstring problem.

The Big V are set to lose Socceroo Mark Milligan, FYR Macedonia's Daniel Georgievski and Olyroos trio Jason Geria, Scott Galloway and Connor Pain to international duty in the coming weeks.

At least one prized asset will be spared the rigours of a long-haul flight though, with Barbarouses not picked by All Whites coach Anthony Hudson for the friendly away to South Korea on March 31.

"He's not been selected," Muscat said of the former Brisbane Roar player.

"He won't travel. No risk will be taken with him because he's been in superb form.

"We got on the front foot immediately, likewise they did as well. The way they conducted themselves was in a professional manner, enquiring about the extent of his injury and why he missed the game.

"The medical staffs have been in contact with each other and the correct decision was made. For him to travel and then try to be available just for them to have a look at him would be madness and unprofessional."

Should Barbarouses regain fitness during the international window, it remains to be seen if he will be eligible for club duty, with Victory set to seek clarity from Football Federation Australia on the subject.

Veteran Archie Thompson, who started and scored in the win over the Wanderers, will deputise again for his injured team-mate away to Adelaide on Saturday night.

Victory drew 1-1 away to the Reds at Adelaide Oval in October, before winning 3-2 at AAMI Park a  month later.

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