Victory in perfect shape

Coach Ernie Merrick believes the pieces are starting to fall into place for Melbourne Victory and his squad is well-placed to cope with an extremely demanding schedule through to the end of January.

Coach Ernie Merrick believes the pieces are starting to fall into place for Melbourne Victory and his squad is well-placed to cope with an extremely demanding schedule through to the end of January.

The Victory's dance card is fully booked with nine matches to play over the next six weeks starting with Saturday night's engagement with Perth Glory at AAMI Park.

The hosts are set to welcome back defender Rody Vargas and Ricardinho who's recovered from a knee injury.

They're in the mix to replace the suspended Billy Celeski and Mate Dugandzic who's come down with a virus.

Defender Adrian Leijer also has a virus and failed to train on Thursday but Merrick believes he's more likely than not to line up.

Merrick said his current squad has never been in better shape and is primed for the challenge ahead.

"It usually comes down to personnel and we've got very experienced high quality players," Merrick said.

"I wouldn't use the word rotate but there's no doubt that if there's someone a little bit flat that needs a bit of a mental and physical break we've got the capability to do that."

"We've now got the option of bringing in fresher players and resting players because of the depth of our squad."

Asked how the Victory would get by in January should in-form strikers Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse make the cut for Australia's Asian Cup squad, Merrick said: "It would have a fair effect on our team during that period."

"But it's so important to play for the Socceroos and we'd manage."

While mindful of Perth's good record against Melbourne, Merrick said he's confident of a good showing on Saturday night.

"We're going out there to score goals and we're not going out there worrying about conceding goals and that's our type of football because if we score one, we'll score more," he said.

"The way Kempy, Aido, Kevin, Surat and Petkovic are playing at the moment we've got a good enough defence to worry about that side of things."

"We're well organised, we're breaking forward off a rock-solid defensive base and our transition from defence to attack is lightning fast."

"I thought towards the end last week (against Melbourne Heart) we could have scored more goals and it was great to do that in front of such a massive Victory crowd."