Leijer wary of new-look Glory

Melbourne defender Adrian Leijer could be the man who marks Perth recruit Robbie Fowler in Saturday night's match at AAMI Park, but it is the strength Glory possess across the park which is of greater concern.

Melbourne defender Adrian Leijer could be the man who marks Perth recruit Robbie Fowler in Saturday night's match at AAMI Park, but it is the strength Glory possess across the park which is of greater concern.

Leijer admits he would love the challenge of playing on Fowler again, having done the job when Melbourne played North Queensland last season, but that the right result on Saturday was not about stopping just one player.

"Robbie is a great player. He's obviously had a stellar career. I can't wait to play against him. I've played against him before. Hopefully he brings a few more numbers through the gate. He's a top class player," Leijer said on match eve.

"I think Perth has put a good squad together and we saw last week, they scored three goals. So we are going to have to be on out toes at the back. I think they are going to be a stronger proposition this year than what they were last year and we are going to have to be at it."

Both teams are coming off 3-3 draws last week, with Melbourne rallying from 2-0 down to take a 3-2 lead at one point against Sydney, while Perth conceded late against North Queensland.

While much of the discussion before that game was about how Melbourne were going to find the back of the net without Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse, Victory looked in no trouble up front.

Leijer has complete confidence in the current strikeforce and said that any side with Carlos Hernandez pulling the strings is going to be hard to hold out.

"During the pre-season I always believed that we would score. I think as soon as Carlos came back you saw the guys get a bit more confidence and he can find them up front. Right through pre-season I was saying, watch Mate Dugandzic and he's produced in Round 1," he said.

"It's up to him to carry that form on and he's got a chance to cement his spot in the team."

Coach Ernie Merrick said he felt Dugandzic had grown significantly as a player in the off-season and that was evident in his performance against Sydney.

"All youngsters breaking into the team, the biggest challenge is to maintain consistency and Mate has benefitted enormously from an intense pre-season. I would never put it on him to be top class every week but he can give us that kind of effort every week," the coach said.

The match will mark Melbourne's first official home game at the new stadium and with 25,000 expected, Leijer can't wait to run out there on Saturday night.

"I'm buzzing for it. I was there the day when they had the little model. It was four years ago now. So to finally have the opportunity and to get out there and have our own stadium," he said.

"We come to work here every day and it's a pleasure to come to work. To see things like that for football in this country is fantastic."

Melbourne will wear a special strip for the match with a diagonal seatbelt replacing the usual V to mark 40 years since seatbelts were made mandatory in Victoria.