Reds up for three points: Merrick

Melbourne is expecting Adelaide to come out and attack in Saturday night's Hyundai A-League clash at Etihad Stadium as the Reds looks to record their first success over Victory since 2007.

Melbourne is expecting Adelaide to come out and attack in Saturday night's Hyundai A-League clash at Etihad Stadium as the Reds looks to record their first success over Victory since 2007.

Adelaide has lost seven-straight matches against Melbourne and has not won a game at Etihad Stadium since 2006. But despite that poor record, Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick believes the Reds will not be going out to nullify the game and will instead try to capitalise on the good form they showed against Sydney last week.

"Adelaide will come for the win. They will be out to win, they want to back-up no doubt that result against Sydney. That's why we've always liked playing them. I can't ever remember them coming out and defending for a draw. They'll come out and they'll attack and we'll attack them. That's why at 6:30 on Saturday night, it will be a great game for the supporters," Merrick said.

"I think they are one of the teams that certainly some of the boys raise their games for. We always play good quality football against them. But having said that, I think they play good quality football against us as well."

Merrick was suitably impressed by Adelaide's 2-1 win over Sydney, especially considering it was down to 10 men after just seven minutes. He said the performances of the Adelaide strikers impressed him most.

"I thought they played exceptionally well for 83 minutes with ten men against Sydney, so I can't see them changing that side too much other than probably bringing back the captain (Travis) Dodd. I think they are in a good position at the moment, they will have a strong side and I expect young Leckie will play alongside Cristiano, I can't see that changing," he said.

Dodd and Lucas Pantelis were included when Adelaide named its squad on Thursday along with Inseob Shin and Daniel Mullen. But doubts remain over Dodd, who failed to train on Friday, while Paul Reid has already been ruled out.

But Melbourne's concerns are with its own players with two of the most experienced, Tom Pondeljak (calf) and Rody Vargas (thigh) to miss this game through injury.

For Vargas it represents the first game he has missed since he was suspended for a match against Sydney in November 2007, while for Pondeljak it is the latest setback in what has been a frustrating season.

However, Merrick, who has only had the luxury of selecting the same XI in consecutive matches once, has backed the depth of his squad.

"We've got a few options, I won't go into the details. Rody is obviously out, (Matthew) Foschini comes in. With Tommy out, Sutee (Suksomkit) will come into the squad," he said.

Suksomkit , who is on a nine-match guest stint with the club, will most likely make his debut, but Merrick is still undecided whether he or Mate Dugandzic, who impressed so much against Newcastle, starts the game.

Meanwhile, Merrick admitted that just one win from five home games this season wasn't a good enough return. He said that while his team had only lost one match at home this season, it needed to get back to dominating Etihad Stadium the way it did late last season.

"Our results at home have been outstanding in the past 12 months we've probably lost two or three games at home. At the end of last year, we hade nine straight wins at home. We perform well in front of our home crowd and that's what history shows. Once again, if a team comes over here for three points, we know we are up for a battle."