Sukha punch for Victory

Melbourne Victory's defensive instability which has plagued the team throughout the reigning Hyundai A-League champions' 2009/10 campaign is set to continue for at least one more week with yet another change looming at the back for Sunday's testing trip to Perth.

Melbourne Victory's defensive instability which has plagued the team throughout the reigning Hyundai A-League champions' 2009/10 campaign is set to continue for at least one more week with yet another change looming at the back for Sunday's testing trip to Perth.

While experienced central defender Rody Vargas is expected to return after missing his first match in two years last week due to injury, the Victory's injury woes have continued with Thai international defender Surat Sukha succumbing to a hamstring injury at training earlier this week.

Sukha has already been ruled out of Sunday's trip to the Glory meaning that yet again the Victory will have to re-cast their defence.

While so much of Melbourne's success has been built on its rock-solid rearguard - this year the Victory has conceded the equal fourth most goals in the competition after 12 rounds with 17 in total or an average of more than one per game.

In fact Melbourne has kept just two clean sheets all season, the last being back in Round 7 against Adelaide in a 2-0 win at Hindmarsh Stadium.

But despite that, Melbourne is sitting just one point behind league leaders Sydney in second spot, ahead of Sunday's clash against the fourth-placed Glory.

Experienced defender Matthew Kemp says the Victory would like to be keeping more clean sheets but admits the constantly changing personnel this season has made life difficult.

Not only has Melbourne bought in a new goalkeeper this season with Glen Moss replacing the departed Michael Theoklitos but both Vargas and veteran skipper Kevin Muscat have missed games through injury while Adrian Leijer has only returned to the club recently after a stint at English club Fulham.

"We have made some silly errors," Kemp said of Melbourne's shaky defensive record this season.

"I'm not sure if it's because of the inconsistency of the personnel there or not but it's something we are working on and as defenders we would like to keep a lot more clean sheets and we will start doing that this weekend hopefully."

While the loss of Sukha is a blow, Kemp is looking forward to the return of the dependable Vargas.

"Rody looked good (at training) today so I would imagine he would be out there playing," Kemp said following Wednesday's session at Monash University.

"It's always good to have guys like Rody in the team because we missed him when he was out last week, so to slot him straight back in will be good for the defence."

"It was a bit strange not to have him out there last week after he had played 44 games in a row and we copped one (a goal against) but otherwise we defended quite well."

But while Melbourne's defence may not have been as watertight as previous seasons, the defenders are certainly doing their bit on the scoresheet, with Leijer scoring the clinching goal in last week's 3-1 win over Adelaide as well as the winner in the recent 2-1 win at against Brisbane.

Their efforts have contributed to Melbourne's enjoying five wins from the past six matches, although the club fluffed its lines with a disappointing 3-0 loss to Sydney at Etihad Stadium in Round 11.

"It's good that we have got players all around the park that can score," Kemp said.

"We are not relying on just one or two players to score goals and if you can get a couple from midfield and a couple from your defenders too, then it eases the pressure on the strikers a bit."

"It doesn't matter where we are on the park because we are all expected to score when we get our chances."