Speed the key for GCU

Gold Coast United dynamo Zenon Caravella says that his team must play to its strengths and use speed to get past Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Gold Coast United dynamo Zenon Caravella says that his team must play to its strengths and use speed to get past Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Speed is a quality that Caravella possesses in abundance and with Miron Bleiberg set to shape a youthful line-up it could be an all-out run and gun attack.

"Speed is always going to cause problems for teams, we have got to try and utilise that advantage that we do have with a few really quick guys in the team," Caravella said.

"We know our strengths and if we play to our strengths and find a rhythm we can start dictating the game and it is very difficult for teams to compete with us."

"On our day we are one of the best passing teams around so I think if we can assert that in the first fifteen minutes then it will be an exciting game."

Caravella insists that no scars remain from the Round 8 clash where a late Kevin Muscat penalty handed the Victory a 3-2 win.

"That's long gone, all done and dusted. We have had a few tough wins since the so that is old news."

But coach Bleiberg sees things differently.

"I see Melbourne and Sydney as our main competitor for the title and we have played Sydney and beat them twice so I couldn't be happier," Bleiberg said.

"But I have waited a long time for this game to show Melbourne here we are and who is the better team."

Taking on the best attacking team in the league, United's task has been made even harder with its three key defenders to miss the clash.

Centre-backs Kristian Rees and Bas Van den Brink, as well as holding midfielder Steve Pantelidis, are all serving suspensions causing a major reshuffle.

"The centre of my defence, the heart of my team has been ripped apart for a variety of reasons," Bleiberg said.

"I don't think it can get any worse than this, we are going to have five untried players. Going to Etihad with five rookies is a big test."

Bleiberg pointed to a free-flowing game of football between the top-four combatants which will give one team bragging rights until they meet again in late January.

"I don't have any defence, so I have to play attack," he said.

"It would be stupidity to try and defend with no defenders, so I might as well attack, if they score nine we score 10."