Preview: Melbourne Victory v Jeju United
Tuesday March 15, 7:30pm local
Date: Tuesday March 15 Kick-off: 7:30pm local Venue: Docklands Stadium Television: Live and exclusive on Fox Sports 2 Live Match Centre: www.melbournevictory.com.au
Head-to-head Never played
How they made it Melbourne Victory: 2010 A-League runners-up Jeju United: 2010 K-League runners up
History These two teams have never met before and it will be Jeju United's first-ever trip to Australia. The club from Seogwipo has only ever won the K-League championship once, back in 1989 (as Yukong Kokkiri), but surged back up the table from 14th in 2009 to claim an ACL place when second to FC Seoul. They lost the championship final over two legs 4-3 on aggregate.
Melbourne Victory have faced Korean opposition four times previously in their two ACL campaigns. They lost both times to eventual champions Seongnam Ilhwa Dragons, 2-0 at home and 3-2 away, while in the 2008 campaign, Melbourne beat Chunnam Dragons 2-0 at home, and drew 1-1 away.
Recent matches: Melbourne Victory: ACL: Gamba Osaka 5, Melbourne Victory 1, Osaka A-League: Gold Coast United 1, Melbourne Victory 0, Skilled Park Adelaide United 2, Melbourne Victory 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Melbourne Victory 2, Newcastle Jets 0, Etihad Stadium Melbourne Victory 2, Gold Coast United 0, AAMI Park North Queensland Fury 0, Melbourne Victory 3, Dairy Farmers Stadium
Jeju United: K-League: Incheon United 0, Jeju United 0, Incheon Jeju United 2, Busan l'Park 1, Jeju ACL: Jeju United 0, Tianjin Teda 1, Jeju
Decision for Durakovic The new coach has stated that he will make some changes to the line-up and formation preferred by his predecessor Merrick. Expect Durakovic to adopt a 4-4-2 formation to provide better cover in the centre of the park and a more sturdy defensive structure. He didn't give much away in terms of selection in the lead-up, but pointed to some new faces in the side. Don't be surprised if Isaka Cernak finds himself in the starting line-up alongside the returning Grant Brebner. Victory has certainly missed the industrious Scottish midfielder and he must be there if they are to glean something from this match. A back four will mean there is no place for one of Kevin Muscat, Adrian Leijer or Roddy Vargas in the centre of defence, but either Leijer or Vargas may find themselves at right back. Robbie Kruse is battling a hamstring complaint and could save Durakovic the decision of whether to relegate either him or Danny Allsopp to the bench with Archie Thompson a certain starter up front.
Behind Enemy Lines Jeju United come to Melbourne following a 1-0 home loss to Tianjin Teda in their AFC Champions League opener on March 1. Coach Park Kyung-Hoon has built a versatile team who are adapt at adopting either 5-3-2 or 4-4-2 formations quite easily with the flexibility to press onto a 4-3-3 if in an attacking mood. The South Koreans need to get something out of this match, so expect them to favour a positive approach here.
Our Hero Archie Thompson, the Qantas Socceroos star is Victory's most dangerous attacking weapon and is a man Jeju United will need to shut down.
Danger Man Kim Eun-Jung, the South Korean international forward is Jeju's captain and scored 13 goals in their K-League campaign in 2010. His partnership with diminutive Brazilian Santos will be important if Jeju are to pull off a smash and grab raid on Melbourne.
Why we will win Because Victory need to. After that 5-1 demolition at the hands of Gamba Osaka, they are well and truly behind the eight-ball in Group E. Another poor result here and Victory can kiss any hopes of progressing to the next stage goodbye.
At the worst, a point against a highly-ranked team such as Jeju United would prove a confidence booster for new coach Mehmet Durakovic and a team looking to put a controversial week behind them.
Durakovic has pointed towards changing the Victory's formation from the 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 under Merrick and if they adopt the expected 4-4-2, it will certainly stiffen up the home side right across the park.
As too will the inclusion of Grant Brebner, who was sadly missed in the ACL opener in Japan, the one-time Manchester United man is a key cog in Victory's approach. For Jeju United, this is their first-ever away match in the ACL and it will be interesting to see how the travel factor affects them, especially when you consider they played on Saturday and had a long-flight from Korea before arriving in Melbourne on Monday.
Finally, the new coach factor cannot be underestimated and Victory's playing roster, from the most experienced player to the youngest will have an extra spring in their step to impress Durakovic.
Melbourne Victory: 1. Michael Petkovic (GK), 2. Kevin Muscat, 4. Petar Franjic, 5. Surat Sukha, 6. Leigh Broxham, 7. Matthew Kemp, 8. Grant Brebner, 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marvin Angulo, 12. Roddy Vargas, 13. Diogo Ferreira, 14 Billy Celeski, 15. Tom Pondeljak, 16. Carlos Hernandez, 17. Matthew Foschini, 18. Danny Allsopp, 19. Isaka Cernak, 20. Sebastian Mattei (GK), 21. Robbie Kruse, 23. Adrian Leijer, 24. Luke Pilkington, 25. Luke O'Dea, 26. Nick Ansell, 27. James Jeggo, 30. Tando Velaphi (GK)
Jeju United: 1. Kim Ho-Jun, 2. Park Jin-Ok, 3. Kang Min-Hyuk, 4. Kim In-Ho, 5. Park Hyun-Beom, 6. Choi Won-Kwon, 7. Kim Young-Sin, 8. Oh Seung-Bum, 9. Kang Su-Il, 10. Shin Young-Rok, 11 Jair, 13. Ma Chul-Jun, 14. Kim Tae-Min, 15. Hong Jung-Ho, 16. Bae Ki-Jong, 17. Kim Jun-Yub, 18. Kim Eun-Jung (captain), 19. Jeon Tae-Hyun, 20. Oh Ban-Suk, 21. Han Dong-Jin, 22. Lee Hyun-Ho, 23. Han Jae-Man, 24. Jung Da-Seul, 25. Kang Joon-Woo, 26. Yun Won-Il, 27. Cho Won-Kwang, 28. Felipinho, 29. Lee Sang-Hyup, 30. Bae Il-Hwan, 31. Lee Jin-Hyung, 32. Lee Keun-Won, 33. An Jong-Hun, 34. Kang In-Jun, 35. Kwon Yong-Nam, 36. Kang Min-Seong, 37. Shim Young-Sung, 38. Lee Yoon-Ho, 39. Santos, 41. Yoo Uk-Jin, 42. Hyun Kwang-Woo, 43. Moon Min-Kwi