Victory name Kemp

Melbourne Victory defender Matthew Kemp will line up against Wellington on Friday night at Westpac Stadium after shrugging off a groin complaint.

Melbourne Victory defender Matthew Kemp will line up against Wellington on Friday night at Westpac Stadium after shrugging off a groin complaint.

Kemp sustained a minor adductor tear during Melbourne's 4-0 romp against Gold Coast last round but coach Ernie Merrick confirmed the 29-year-old would take his place in the Victory team.

Kemp will be joined in the squad by Thai international Surat Sukha, who comes in for the injured Grant Brebner, while Tom Pondeljak will start on the bench and Mate Dugandzic makes way for Matthew Foschini.

Merrick confirmed Brebner would miss up to six weeks due to a grade two sprain to his lateral ankle ligaments but he was rapt to have Kemp available.

"Kempy is having an outstanding season, he's been very, very consistent week in, week out and he's not only a terrific defender but now he's showing what he can do going forward," Merrick said on Thursday from Wellington.

"I think he was involved in just about everything last week, he can play right side or left side and there's not many players like that."

One player who won't be seen in Victory colours again is Ney Fabiano, who accepted an offer to join Bangkok Glass FC in the Thai Premier League on Tuesday.

Merrick revealed that the Brazilian's departure from the club had been on the cards for as long as a month.

"We had open and frank discussions about a month ago, we talked about his new contract, he was getting really good offers from Thailand," said Merrick.

"We would never hold a player back from being a regular first-team player and earning good money especially at the age of 30 so he had good options and we didn't stand in his way and he's gone off with our blessing."

Meanwhile, Merrick isn't reading too much into the Phoenix's 4-1 loss to Brisbane last week.

Prior to that encounter, Ricki Herbert's men had enjoyed a consistent streak of form that saw them lose just one match out of their previous 11 and the Melbourne coach is well aware of what they're capable of.

Sixth-placed Wellington has proven to be a particularly tough nut to crack at home, having not been beaten there in 13 months, and Merrick believes the result will be decided by which midfield fires up the most.

"I don't read into any one game, they've been consistent all year as we have and I think it makes for a good game tomorrow night," he said.

"They're particularly good at shutting down the midfield of attacking teams and if your midfield's shut down then you don't get the service to the strikers."

"Last week our midfield were outstanding, Wardy (Nicky Ward), Brebs (Brebner) and Kempy were playing a 4-3-3, they just dominated in midfield."

"So it's really up to our midfield not to be controlled and dominated."