Monday, 4 April 2011

Today Sport's : AFC Champions League/"It's a must-win game for Victory"

Melbourne Victory interim coach Mehmet Durakovic insists Tuesday's AFC Champions League clash against Tianjin Teda is a must-win game.

The Australian outfit are currently rooted at the bottom of Group E after losing their opening two games and Durakovic admitted his side cannot afford another defeat.

"It is a must-win situation, if we can get a win it will be absolutely phenomenal for our chances to qualify for the next round," the 45-year-old told the club's official website.

"Even a draw wouldn't put us in a bad position. A win or draw would be fantastic."

Durakovic also revealed goalkeeper Tando Velaphi will be handed a debut in place of veteran custodian Michael Petkovic.

"Tando's done really, really well at training and I just think it's time to give Tando a chance for this important game," he added.

"Both keepers have done fantastic, Tando's really come on at training and his attitude has been first class, but so has Petka to be fair."

Meanwhile, Velaphi's inclusion is just one of the several changes Durakovic will make for Tuesday's game in China.

Injuries to Danny Allsopp (groin), Matthew Kemp (knee) and Marvin Angulo (hip flexor) have forced the 45-year-old's hand.

But Durakovic is confident the replacement players will do the job against a Tianjin team managed by former Dutch international midfielder Arie Haan.

"I've made a few changes that I think are right. We've put in a few youngsters, they've been working hard on the training pitch and when the time comes they'll have a good game," Durakovic said.

"They are an attacking team, I've watched both their games and they have had good wins at home and away to be on six points."
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