Same again for Melbourne

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick is taking an 'if it aint broke don't fix it' policy ahead of Friday's crucial clash against Queensland at Telstra Dome and is set to go with the same XI which defeated Sydney last week.

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick is taking an 'if it aint broke don't fix it' policy ahead of Friday's crucial clash against Queensland at Telstra Dome and is set to go with the same XI which defeated Sydney last week.

The Victory had some selection issues this week with Grant Brebner and Jose Luis Lopez under consideration to come into the squad for what looms as an important game against the Roar.

But despite the experience of the international pair, Merrick liked what he saw in the 3-2 win over Sydney last Saturday and will most likely not make any changes to either his starting XI or his bench.

"I don't think we'll change much at all. I don't think the squad will change much. I don't think we'll change much in the first XI either. A team which did so well against Sydney, I don't see the point in changing much at all," he said.

"More or less the same 15, it was a great performance coming from behind like that after three losses on the road. If it aint broke, don't fix it."

Merrick's confidence in those players spells bad news for Lopez and Brebner.

But Merrick said that with Melbourne playing three games in the space of a little over a week, he would need to use his squad's depth in the games against Adelaide and Perth.

"I'm not sure this week, but with three games in 10 days, those players will become very, very important to us. It's going to be a tough run in, and an away game in Perth as well, that's why you need a full squad," he said.

Queensland is the form team of the competition at the moment having gone five games unbeaten to move level with Victory on points. It's something Merrick is well aware of and he sees it as a good measuring stick for where his players are at.

"The last team to beat them was ourselves in Queensland and since then they have won three and drawn two. They don't have many injuries, they'll have Danny Tiatto coming into the side, we know we are up for a tough one," he said.

"That's as it should be, the teams in the top four are going to be tough games, but we've got the advantage of home ground and that's a big plus for us with the crowd behind us," he said.

While his new year's wish is for his team not to concede as many goals, having leaked 11 in the previous three matches, Merrick has faith in his team's defensive capabilities.

"There was not much we could do about those two top quality strikes (against Sydney). We try and force teams to shoot from distance, generally Theo does a good job in stopping them, but they were outstanding strikes. It's when the opposition are firing from the six-yard box that's when your defence needs to be looked at," he said.