Muscat relishing Premier League test

Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat is looking forward to hosting Fulham’s best after the English Premier League side named a strong squad for its upcoming international friendly at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, July 11.

Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat is looking forward to hosting Fulham-s best after the English Premier League side named a strong squad for its upcoming international friendly at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, July 11.

Qantas Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and former Melbourne Victory defender Adrian Leijer have both been selected, as well as a host of internationals including English duo Danny Murphy and Andrew Johnson and Senegalese striker Diomansy Kamara.

Muscat, who spent more than eight years in England with Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Millwall, is expecting a tough challenge against Fulham, which is preparing for its opening UEFA Europa League match on July 30 and the new English Premier League season.

“Considering how well Fulham did in qualifying for Europe and now they-re sending a full-strength team to Melbourne, it gives us a great opportunity, not only for the players who have got aspirations to play at the highest level, but for the younger boys to pit themselves against some quality players,” Muscat said.

“It can also be a reality check for us as a team in terms of where we-re at and how much work we have to do.

“Fulham are in the early stages of their pre-season and we want to put on a good showing in front of our fans in Melbourne.”

Muscat is also looking forward to the possibility of taking a spot kick against former Qantas Socceroos teammate Schwarzer, who famously saved two penalties in Australia-s FIFA World Cup qualifying win against Uruguay in 2005.

“Mark-s proven himself over a number of years,” Muscat added.

“Eyebrows were raised last year when he went to Fulham, but he probably had the most consistent year of his career.

“He-s been known to stop quite a few penalties in his time, so I-d relish the opportunity to put one past him from 12 yards.”

Roy Hodgson-s men will depart for Australia this Saturday and will face Gold Coast United at Skilled Park on Wednesday, before travelling to Melbourne the following Saturday to take on Melbourne Victory.

Tickets for the match are available from Ticketmaster by calling 136 100 or through ticketmaster.com.au.

Click here for further ticketing information and prices.

Melbourne Victory v Fulham Saturday, July 11, 7.30pm Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Fulham: Christopher BAIRD, Matthew BRIGGS, Zoltan GERA, Aaron HUGHES, Andrew JOHNSON, Edward JOHNSON, Toni KALLIO, Diomansy KAMARA, Stephen KELLY, Seol KIHYEON, Adrian LEIJER, Danny MURPHY, Erik NEVLAND, John PANTSIL, Matthew SAUNDERS, Mark SCHWARZER, Chris SMALLING, David STOCKDALE, Fredrik STOOR SEIKKINEN, Andranik TIMOTIAN SAMARANI, Robert ZAMORA, Pascal ZUBERBUHLER

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