Melbourne Victory confident to defeat Gamba Osaka in Asian Champions League

10:48, May 04, 2011      

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Melbourne Victory Football Club captain Kevin Muscat on Tuesday said he is confident his team will defeat Japanese Gamba Osaka in the Asian Champions League (ACL) match.

Melbourne Victory currently sit last in the Group E standings with only four points.

However, the Australia side still have chance to advance if they could win the remaining two games. Melbourne will play against Gamba Osaka on Wednesday night at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, and face South Korea's Jeju United during next week's match.

Muscat rated Gamba Osaka the stand-out team in their ACL group and one of the very best in Asia.

But Muscat remained convinced the Victory will be good enough to secure the win on Wednesday night, which is necessary to keep alive their hopes of advancing to the knock-out stage.

"Gamba are a very good side and without doubt, for me, the best side in the group," Muscat told a press conference in Melbourne on Tuesday.

"So we're going to have to be at our best, or somewhere near our best, to get a result and the right result is three points.

"They're a good side, but they're beatable."

Earlier, the Victory started the competition in the worst possible way, losing 5-1 away to Gamba Osaka in early March, a result that led to the sacking of coach Ernie Merrick.

"It was a hammering, it was probably the lowest point of being at the football club, how we performed - we really let everyone down on the night," Muscat said.

"I just hope tomorrow night we can put on a good performance, stick to the structure that Mem (stand-in coach Mehmet Durakovic) has asked us to do and hopefully the result will look after itself."

In a press conference, Gamba Osaka coach Akira Nishino said he is aware of the improvement of Melbourne Victory.

"Now the situation is entirely different, the Melbourne team did not just have its coach changed, the formation of the team has changed dramatically, and the overall strength is more powerful," he told reporters in Melbourne.

Source: Xinhua
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