Victory's focus turns to ACL

Veteran Melbourne midfielder Tom Pondeljak believes the club's previous Asian Champions League experience will help it adapt ahead of Tuesday's opening match of its ACL campaign against Beijing in China.

Veteran Melbourne midfielder Tom Pondeljak believes the club's previous Asian Champions League experience will help it adapt ahead of Tuesday's opening match of its ACL campaign against Beijing in China.

Melbourne has had little time to absorb its 2-1 win over Sydney in the first leg of the major semi-final, with the team leaving for Beijing on Saturday. Pondeljak said the focus has moved quickly from concerns domestically to the continental club championship.

"The Sydney game was the most important thing at the time. We've moved on from that. We're concentrating now on Beijing and hopefully try and get a positive result when we do go to China," he said.

"It's going to be a little bit colder over there, but I think it will be good for us. We've played in Asia before, we know what the conditions are like and I think we are better for the experience of last year's Champions League," he said.

While the combination of the ACL and the Hyundai A-League finals have made for a hectic schedule for Melbourne, Pondeljak believes the extra matches will make the Victory a sharper side in the ACL.

"It'll probably be better for us this time around as we have some competition games in between the ACL games. I think we'll be fresh, we're as fit as we can be. We go into the game full of confidence," he said.

"They probably do play a different style of football, but it's something we've played in the past. We know how team play over there and we'll work towards trying to get a good result.

Melbourne has never played a Chinese team in the ACL but will be familiar with at least one of the opposition players, with former Newcastle Jet and Johnny Warren Medallist Joel Griffiths set to line up along with his brother Ryan.

"Obviously the Griffo brothers are there and we have a little bit of background on them, the rest of the squad we don't know too much about. Probably likewise, they'll probably give information about their team to their officials. I think it will be a good game of chess and hopefully we can come out on top," he said.

Pondeljak said that he expected Rody Vargas, who has been battling knee soreness, to be fine for the trip to China, while the two elder statesmen of the team, he and Kevin Muscat, are ready to back-up as well.

"As far as I know Rody's fine. He's pulled up really well he definitely play in Beijing," he said.

"It will be a little but tough and testing, Kevin and myself have pulled up pretty good from last night. Fingers crossed, we've got some great support staff. We're on the ball and we're looking to recover well."