Break a bonus for Victory

Melbourne Victory defender Adrian Leijer feels that the unexpected break before the Melbourne derby against Heart at AAMI Park next Friday will prove a bonus for the club.

Melbourne Victory defender Adrian Leijer feels that the unexpected break before the Melbourne derby against Heart at AAMI Park next Friday will prove a bonus for the club.

The much-anticipated match has been put back six days because of a clash with the AFL Grand Final replay and the extra break will give injured pair Kevin Muscat and Grant Brebner a chance to be fit for Friday's match.

Muscat is making excellent progress from his ankle injury and is highly-likely to take his place, while Brebner, who has two broken toes, is working hard to put himself in contention.

Leijer said the availability of two of the club's most experienced players for the match can only be a good thing and he is not concerned at all by the late change of dates for the fixture.

"It doesn't really change much at all. The AFL is a pretty big thing and I think it's the right move and the smart move," he said.

"For us it doesn't change much at all. It probably gives us that added advantage. Musky can have that extra time, as can Brebsy. We should have a full list ready."

Muscat's likely return means Leijer will have to forfeit the captain's armband for the first-ever Melbourne derby, but the stand-in skipper is not overly concerned about not leading the team out against Heart.

"He's been giving me a bit of stick, Musky. He's the one to run out there for the derby. If everything is in his favour to play, then as a team, we are stoked about that," he said.

"As soon as the draw came out, we looked when we were playing them. Although that's been put back a week, it doesn't change anything. It's a massive game for us and as players we haven't had the proper derby experience since Knights v South Melbourne in Melbourne," he said.

"For us to have that that massive occasion three games a year to look forward to is pretty special."

Meanwhile, Leijer feels that after three consecutive scoreless draws, the team is ready to start rattling the back of the net against their new cross-town rivals, who lost 4-0 in their most recent game against Brisbane.

"It'd be nice to score a goal. But we have to look at the positives. The last four or five games, we've kept some clean sheets," he said.

"I think getting points on the road is important and you can't underestimate the point up at North Queensland. It's always a tough place to go. Also Newcastle because we haven't been great there in the past. If you look the games we've played, we've had a lot of draws, but you look at where we've had the draws, it hasn't been too bad."