Vargas ready for Boca

Melbourne defender Rody Vargas has made a rapid recovery from a bout of Dengue Fever and is set to play against Argentine giants Boca Juniors on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.

Melbourne defender Rody Vargas has made a rapid recovery from a bout of Dengue Fever and is set to play against Argentine giants Boca Juniors on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.

Nobody at the club would understand just how big a club Boca Juniors are more than Vargas, who has Chilean ancestry. He has managed to put his off-season illness behind him to play on Friday.

"Rody has recovered well from his fever, he-ll be starting. At this stage Kevin (Muscat) won't be playing. But all the other back line players, Surat (Sukha), Adrian Leijer, Evan Berger, Leigh Broxham, they are all looking good," coach Ernie Merrick said.

With the exception of Muscat, long-term injury absentees Matthew Kemp and Archie Thompson and Johnny Warren Medallist Carlos Hernandez, Melbourne will have close to a full strength side against Boca Juniors in a match which forms a vital part of the club's preparations for the upcoming season.

"Our squad, we are very happy with where we are at. We are having these four pre-season games, one against Bentleigh, we-ve got Boca, South Dandenong on Tuesday and then in Launceston against the Mariners, so the build-up we are very happy with," he said.

Merrick is relishing the chance to test his side out against a team which has 23 domestic championships and won the Copa America six times.

"I think it's very exciting to have a team of quality of Boca Juniors coming out here. It-s one of the biggest teams in the world," he said.

"We've had Juventus out here, we've had Fulham out here and now to have a team from South America is just a great opportunity for us."

Both teams have promised to play attacking and entertaining football in Friday's match, with new Boca Juniors coach Claudio Borghi looking to try a few new things in his first major match in charge.

"I want to play three players at the back, which is not what they are used to at Boca," he said through a translator. "Boca fans demand success and they demand attacking football and goals and that's what we want to do against Melbourne."

Merrick is not looking for any result in particular, just good attacking football.

"Playing against a team like Boca Juniors, you've got to be realistic on one hand. It-s not about a result and how it goes, it-s about the performance and it-s about being prepared to go in our first game against Sydney which is a Grand Final re-match," he said.

"To learn and play against this type of quality will be first class, not just for the players, but also for me as a coach."