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Victory trio in line for A-League return

Melbourne Victory trio Keisuke Honda, Rauel Baeana and Georg Niedermeir are all in the mix for Saturday's A-League clash with Western Sydney.

Victory trio in line for A-League return

Melbourne Victory trio Keisuke Honda, Rauel Baeana and Georg Niedermeir are all in the mix for Saturday's A-League clash with Western Sydney.

KEISUKE HONDA of Japan during a Japan training session and press conference ahead of the FIFA World Cup Group H match between Poland and Japan at Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia.
KEISUKE HONDA of Japan during a Japan training session and press conference ahead of the FIFA World Cup Group H match between Poland and Japan at Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia. Picture:Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

Melbourne Victory are confident Nick Ansell has avoided serious injury, while the club could welcome back several key players for their A-League clash with Western Sydney.

Ansell was injured just 12 minutes into Friday night's 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix, clutching at his hamstring after attempting to block Roy Krishna's shot.


The injury-prone defender is thought to have suffered a minor tear which would likely sideline him for weeks, rather than months.

Star import Keisuke Honda missed training on Wednesday after being rested for second-placed Victory's two past games with lower back tightness.

He is nonetheless expected to be in the mix for Saturday's game at ANZ Stadium, along with Rauel Baena and Georg Niedermeir who both trained fully on Wednesday.

"They both trained today, both training well," Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas told reporters.

"I hope (Honda) is available. I'm not too sure where he's at but I think he'll be right to play."

Ansell's stint playing in Portugal last year was cut short by a knee injury, and the centre-back was also sidelined last month with a shoulder issue.

"He's obviously a bit deflated," Thomas said.

"I saw him this morning and he's doing everything that he can.

"I've known him for a long time ... I hope he gets back quickly and I can start yelling at him in front of me."

Ola Toivonen's late equaliser against Wellington preserved an eight-game unbeaten streak which is a far cry from last season, when Victory went winless from their first six games.

But Thomas said the defending champions weren't satisfied with their form line ahead of facing the struggling Wanderers, who copped a 4-0 Victory hammering at Marvel Stadium last month.

"Two draws in a row now, for a club of our stature is not good enough," he said.

"It's obviously a bit of a tough patch for them at the moment. It was a bit surprising the way they turned up against us ... but we'll pay full respect to them."

AAP


AAP




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