Victory determined to topple Gamba

Melbourne Victory will tackle its AFC Champions League 2008 clash against Group G leader Gamba Osaka without fear on Wednesday (kick off 8pm AEST), as it looks to keep its hopes of progressing to the Knockout Stage alive.

Melbourne Victory will tackle its AFC Champions League 2008 clash against Group G leader Gamba Osaka without fear on Wednesday (kick off 8pm AEST), as it looks to keep its hopes of progressing to the Knockout Stage alive.

Victory Captain Kevin Muscat said the side is determined to topple Gamba, which currently sits four points ahead of Victory on top of Group G, after the Japanese outfit snatched a last-minute win at Telstra Dome two weeks ago.

Victory, which currently occupies third in Group G with three points from as many matches, must secure at least a point from its Match Day 4 fixture to have any hope of advancing in Asia-s premier club competition.

"The boys were really hurting after our loss against Gamba a couple of weeks ago and this is our chance to make amends and get one back," Muscat said.

"I-m confident we-ll play well in Osaka and hopefully we can bring home three points and give ourselves a chance of finishing on top."

Despite remaining positive, Muscat said the side was fully aware that Gamba must also drop points against either Thailand-s Chonburi FC or Korea Republic-s Chunnam Dragons for Victory to top Group G.

"There-s no doubt this is a massive challenge for us," Muscat added.

"Gamba is a good side with a host of quality players, but our boys are fired up and will give it everything on Wednesday."

Victory has made one change to its squad of 18 players that faced Gamba on Match Day 3, with Tom Pondeljak, who could make his competitive debut for the club against Gamba, replacing Daniel Vasilevski.

Socceroos midfielder Leigh Broxham, who rolled his ankle in a trial match against Adelaide United last week, was cleared to travel to Osaka and is expected to maintain his place in the starting 11.

Cool conditions are expected at Expo -70 Stadium for Wednesday-s match, with a low temperature of 14 degrees forecast for Osaka, which is coincidentally celebrating 30 years as a sister-city of Melbourne.

The match will be broadcast live and exclusively on Fox Sports 3 Viewer-s Choice from 7:55pm AEST, with a replay to follow immediately after the final whistle at 10pm AEST.

Following its match against Gamba, Victory will travel to Gwangyang Football Stadium to face Chunnam on Wednesday, 7 May, before returning to Telstra Dome for its final Group Stage fixture against Chonburi on Wednesday, 21 May.

Tickets for the match against Chonburi, as well as Victory-s blockbuster friendly against Italian giant Juventus FC on Friday, 30 May, are available from any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 136 100 or through ticketmaster.com.au.

AFC Champions League 2008 - Group G
Gamba Osaka (JPN) v Melbourne Victory (AUS)
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Kick off 7pm local (8pm AEST)
Expo -70 Stadium, Osaka

(Both teams will name a squad of 18 players 90 minutes before kick off)

Gamba Osaka: 1.MATSUYO Naoki (gk), 2.Sota NAKAZAWA, 3.Huenes Marcelo LEMOS, 4.MIZUMOTO Hiroki, 5.YAMAGUCHI Satoshi (Captain), 6.FUKUMOTO Yohei, 7.Yasuhito ENDO, 8.Shinichi TERADA, 9.Lucas SEVERINO, 10.Takahiro FUTAGAWA, 11.Ryuji BANDO, 12.Kodai YASUDA, 13.Michihiro YASUDA, 14.Shoki HIRAI, 16.Hayato SASAKI, 17.Tomokazu MYOJIN, 18.Jader Volnei SPINDLER, 19.Takumi SHIMOHIRA, 20.Shu KURATA, 21.Akira KAJI, 22.Yosuke FUJIGAYA (gk), 23.Takuya TAKEI, 24.Kenta HOSHIHARA, 25.Hideya OKAMOTO, 26.Masaki KINOSHITA (gk), 27.Hideo HASHIMOTO, 28.Ryujiro UEDA, 29.Atsushi KIMURA (gk), 30.Masato YAMAZAKI

Melbourne Victory: 1.Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (Captain), 4.Steven PACE, 6.Steve PANTELDIS, 7.Matthew KEMP, 9.Daniel ALLSOPP, 11.Nathan ELASI, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13.Kaz PATAFTA, 14.Adrian CACERES, 15.Leandro LOVE, 18.Leigh BROXHAM, 19.Evan BERGER, 20.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 21.Sebastian RYALL, 22.Nick WARD, 24.Billy CELESKI, 25.Tom PONDELJAK

TV: Live and exclusive on Fox Sports 3 Viewer-s Choice (broadcast commences at 7:55pm AEST, replay commences at 10pm AEST)

Photos: Getty Images (www.gettyimages.com)