Zullo fit for Victory

Brisbane winger Michael Zullo has overcome an ankle injury and will take his place in the Roar's side when they clash with reigning Hyundai A-League champions Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

Brisbane winger Michael Zullo has overcome an ankle injury and will take his place in the Roar's side when they clash with reigning Hyundai A-League champions Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

Zullo was in doubt for the Etihad Stadium fixture after his left ankle was severely bruised in the Roar's 3-1 loss to Gold Coast United last weekend, but trained briskly on Friday during the club's final training session before departing for Victoria.

The 20-year-old has endured a rough time of it recently, having overcome a bout of swine flu and a niggling shoulder injury.

Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina will take a squad of 16 players incase of any last-minute mishaps, but was sure Zullo would be able to make an impact off the bench.

"Michael is fine, so he will travel … he looks okay and I expect that he will be right," Farina said.

The only major change to the side will be the injury-enforced omission of defender Andrew Packer, who will spend a minimum of eight weeks on the sidelines with a torn abductor.

Young Socceroos captain Luke DeVere, who replaced Packer last Saturday when he was forced from the ground after seven minutes against United, will fill in at right-back.

Farina admitted after the loss to Gold Coast that his side's defence struggled with DeVere playing out of position, but goalkeeper Liam Reddy was confident the back four was now more of a cohesive unit.

"We've had a whole week to work on it, so obviously it'll be a lot better this weekend," Reddy said.

"Luke had just got back from his Under-20s and he'd only been with us for a week, and to …play right-back, where he hasn't played before (was difficult)."

"He's now had a week of training and as a back four, we'll be good."

"We copped three goals but we had a video session this week and we've got another one when we get down to Melbourne … so the boys are looking forward to it."

Reddy's regular understudy Griffin McMaster has been ruled out due to illness and he will instead be joined on the bench by Roar Youth custodian Matt Acton.

It is of course highly unlikely Acton will see any action, but Reddy believed the experience would be nonetheless very valuable for the raw 17-year-old.

"It's a good opportunity for him to come away with us and see how the professionals do it," he said.

"It'll be a little bit of an initiation, but I think if needed he'll be able to step up."

"He got goalkeeper of the year in the National Youth League competition last year, if I'm correct."

Serious injuries to Packer and Massimo Murdocca (broken leg) will no doubt test the Roar's depth, especially with a brigade of Brisbane youngsters set to take part in the upcoming Under-20 World Cup.

Farina stated the club was looking to sign some extra talent as cover, but was not about to give anything away.

"It will leave us a bit skinny so we'll be looking around the place for suitable replacements, if we can get them in," he said.

"I can't give you any names."