FORMER captain Adrian Leijer will make a welcome return from suspension for Saturday night's A-League blockbuster against Sydney FC, but the Victory is likely to be without a host of stars for the match.
With international matches scheduled across the globe this weekend, Melbourne will be without Macedonian international Daniel Georgievski, New Zealand All Whites winger Kosta Barbarouses, and Olyroos players Connor Pain and Jason Geria.
Socceroos defender Mark Milligan, forced to pull out of the national squad for the friendly away to Japan next Tuesday because of a knee issue, is unlikely to recover in time to tackle the Sky Blues.
Milligan and marquee man Besart Berisha were unable to train yesterday, while veteran striker Archie Thompson left the track early to have treatment on a niggling back complaint.
Young centre-back Nick Ansell is yet to play this season because of a groin injury, but Scott Galloway will be available after being unable to travel to China with the Olyroos.
Leijer (pictured) said despite the injury concerns and player unavailability, he was confident the club would field a competitive line-up.
"It's not ideal but Musky (coach Kevin Muscat) has put together a really good squad," he said.
Meanwhile several long-term Melbourne Victory shareholders have bought a 35% share of the club from several smaller investors in a deal officials said would provide greater financial stability, and clear up any governance concerns.
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