Victory deny Allsopp doubts

Melbourne Victory are confident in-form striker Danny Allsopp will be available for Sunday's cut-throat final against Gold Coast at Skilled Park, despite the experienced striker leaving the training track early on Friday.

Melbourne Victory are confident in-form striker Danny Allsopp will be available for Sunday's cut-throat final against Gold Coast at Skilled Park, despite the experienced striker leaving the training track early on Friday.

Allsopp appeared to be stretching and feeling his calf before holding a brief conversation with the coaching staff and leaving the main group. But coach Ernie Merrick said the early departure was just a part of Allsopp's tailored program.

"Some players have individual programs, so I wouldn-t read anything into that," he said.

"There won't be too many changes from the last game against Adelaide. The two players we are considering adding are Billy Celeski and Grant Brebner, but it is three days out from the game, so as always after 30 rounds, it's about looking after players."

Merrick has close to a full-strength squad at his disposal, with some of the clubs highest-credentialed players, including Archie Thompson and Carlos Hernandez, fighting for a spot in the starting XI.

"In the last match we had three internationals sitting on the bench. That situation is a good situation to be in," he said.

"The players we've got fighting for a spot, I think we're going to have the best bench in the league, let alone the best first XI, so I'm very excited."

Merrick promised an attacking line-up for the clash against United, who Melbourne comfortably defeated 2-0 with an under-strength side a few weeks ago.

"It-s very tempting to give Archie, Carlos, Marvin, Danny Allsopp, Robbie Kruse a start. We're able to put out a very attacking line-up, we-ve got a very strong midfield and out defence has been fantastic," he said.

But despite having such an array of attacking weapons, and having not lost a final in their history - apart from the penalty shootout defeat to Sydney in last year's Grand Final - Merrick said his players can not afford to underestimate the task of beating GCU on their home soil.

"I don't think there are any games that are easy in the finals. Every game is tough, we've played in a few now. It's really about us getting our best on the field and playing our brand of football. If we do that, we'll take the win and we-ll move on from there," he said.

Meanwhile, Merrick said that he has no concerns over the Skilled Park surface, which was inspected by FFA earlier in the week.

"If it was a good surface, it would allow both teams to play a better standard of football. Whatever the situation, we'll play our best," he said.