Victory won't change approach

Melbourne Victory will give little regard to the status of the Hyundai A-League ladder when they run out for Friday's crucial Telstra Dome clash against Wellington.

Melbourne Victory will give little regard to the status of the Hyundai A-League ladder when they run out for Friday's crucial Telstra Dome clash against Wellington.

An intriguing final round of the season awaits with Melbourne, Adelaide and Queensland all fighting for a top two spot and Central Coast and Wellington fighting it out for fourth.

A big win for Melbourne would put it in prime position to finish top, with Adelaide needing to at least match that result against the Mariners on Sunday to retain its position. But there are so many permutations, that Merrick has told his players not to worry about the mathematics and concentrate on playing their best brand of football.

"This idea that's the pressure is on us to score lots of goals, we can't go out with that mindset," Merrick said,

"We'll go out to play our normal home game-type football which is high intensity, inter-passing, trying to achieve lots of shooting opportunities. If we play the way we normally play, everything else should fall into place."

"It's really a case of trying to keep a clean sheet again. Try to score one, and then try to score another one, play that brand of football, rather than worry about the permutations."

Melbourne has the advantage of knowing that Wellington needs to win this match to keep its finals hopes alive, making for what should be a very attacking match.

"They are not going to camp in front of their penalty box. I would think they'll play as they did against Adelaide they'll play attacking football," he said. "Wellington, being a team that has to win, have got to be an attacking team and I think that suits us."

Merrick has been hammering home the importance of this game all week to his players. He believes the finals have started a week early and a strong result here will give Victory some real momentum going into the finals.

"There's no doubt that this game is as important, if not more important, than any finals game. It gives us the opportunity to score a place in the top two. And if we're in the top two, it gives us a much better run in the finals. It's important as any finals match," he said.

Matthew Kemp returns from suspension and is a chance to come straight back into the starting side given Merrick has indicated he will play a more attacking line-up.

"He's a chance to come into the starting line up because we really want to play and attacking line-up. (The Phoenix) are a different type of team. The Mariners were a three up front, bash and crash type team and so you got to play with players who really want an arm wrestle. We hope to match Wellington physically, but we want to have more attacking flair in our team if that's possible," he said.