Durakovic: Robbie Kruse to start

Robbie Kruse returns to the starting line-up as Melbourne Victory chase all three points in Wednesday night's AFC Champions League showdown against Tianjin Teda at Etihad Stadium.

Robbie Kruse returns to the starting line-up as Melbourne Victory chase all three points in Wednesday night's AFC Champions League showdown against Tianjin Teda at Etihad Stadium.

Melbourne Victory Squad v Tianjin TEDA 2. Kevin MUSCAT, 4. Petar FRANJIC, 5. Surat SUKHA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8. Grant BREBNER, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11. Marvin ANGULO, 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 15. Tom PONDELJAK, 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17. Matthew FOSCHINI, 18. Danny ALLSOPP, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 20. Sebastian MATTEI, 21. Robbie KRUSE, 23. Adrian LEIJER (c), 30. Tando VELAPHI

IN: ANGULO, ALLSOPP, MATTEI OUT: CELESKI, JEGGO, PETKOVIC

Interim coach Mehmet Durakovic declared a win is the only option for the Victory and will field an attacking 4-3-3 formation to stretch the Chinese outfit.

Socceroo striker Kruse, who came off the bench for the second-half in Tianjin after featuring in Australia's win over Germany seven days earlier, is expected to come into the side for experienced performer Tom Pondeljak.

"Robbie will be playing, he did quite well when he came on," Durakovic said.

"Basically we need a win. We'll go out there to attack as much as we can to get the three points."

"We'll be going in with an attacking line-up, hopefully with three up front. We'll push Robbie and Isaka (Cernak) up alongside Archie (Thompson)."

While Victory sit bottom of Group E with one point from three matches, that point was earned after a 1-1 draw against Arie Haan's men in China a fortnight ago.

Captain Adrian Leijer says Victory derived plenty from that result and believe the momentum generated can spur them on at home.

"That performance in Tianjin should not be underestimated, the way we went about it was fantastic," Leijer said.

"To go over there, long trip, hostile environment and to come home disappointed with a point says a lot for the way we're moving on."

"We can take confidence out of that game, the improvement we've made since Mehm took over has been obvious."

Durakovic, who will oversee his third game in charge since replacing Ernie Merrick as coach last month, is subtly putting his stamp on the Victory line-up.

Goalkeeper Tando Velaphi made his debut in Tianjin and impressed enough to retain his place, while right-back Matthew Foschini continues to illustrate why he is a bright prospect.

Leigh Broxham has thrived in the centre of the park and will line-up in a midfield anchored by the industrious Grant Brebner.

Asked what he learned about Tianjin Teda from the match in China, Durakovic replied: "They're a very tall side, we've worked a lot on set pieces, both for and against."

"We scored from a set piece, but also conceded one as well. If we can hold our shape, we'll go a long way to beating this team."

Tianjin Teda will be without influential captain Marko Zoric through suspension after his send-off in the last match between the clubs in China.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm.