Melbourne Victory will complete preparations for their season-opening blockbuster against crosstown rivals Melbourne City with a game against their traditonal interstate rival Adelaide United this week.
Kevin Muscat, Victory's coach, says that despite a behind-closed-doors loss at the hands of New Zealand visitors Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park last Friday, he is pleased enough with the way his side is coming together ahead of the A-League start.
There have been plenty of ins and outs at the home of the champions in the off season, with the likes of Japanese superstar Keisuke Honda, German defender Georg Niedermeier, Swedish World Cup goal-scorer Ola Toivonen and Spanish midfielder Raul Baena arriving at AAMI Park to join Australians Corey Brown and Storm Roux, who were signed from A-League rivals Brisbane and Central Coast respectively.
Old boy Nick Ansell, who had spent time overseas in Portugal, is also back with the club and battling for a first team spot in the heart of defence.
Blending those talents together is not easy, especially without as many competitive games as the coach might have liked, but Muscat says matches like that against Wellington play their part, even if the result (a 3-1 home loss) is "irrelevant".