Preview: Melbourne Victory vs Jeonbuk

‘Shine a light on Sterling for speaking up’ – Alex Scott

Melbourne Victory host Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Tuesday in the AFC Champions League round of 16 in what will be a historic encounter for the home team.

The Australian side finished in second place in Group G with two wins and three draws, securing there spot in the knockout phase for the first time.

While Victory coach Kevin Muscat was quick to acknowledge that his side are in unchartered waters, he also added that they were extremely excited by the task facing them.

“It’s a little bit different and it’s the deepest we’ve had to play a game in our short history as a football club but it’s been great and we can’t wait for the challenge,” said Muscat.

“It doesn’t come much bigger than Jeonbuk but we take a lot of confidence from the way we’ve played in the group games.

“We’ve put in some very good football, especially here at home we’ve had a very good attacking intent and scored some goals here at home so we look forward to tomorrow night against a good team.”

Victory fans will be hoping that veteran striker Archie Thompson can add to the 91 goals he has scored for the club. When Victory’s AFC Champions League campaign comes to a close so will Thompson’s time with the club. Both parties will be desperate to prevent that from happening for as long as possible.

Jeonbuk topped Group E with three wins and a solitary draw. Unlike their opponents on Tuesday, they are no strangers to the business end of this competition. They won it in 2006.

Despite being coach of the more decorated team in this tie, Choi Kang-hee was full of respect for Victory’s home record as seven of their nine points accumulated in the group stages were recorded at AAMI Park.

“This match is a round of 16 game, and away games are always difficult. The opposition has really good tactics, so we need to prepare our own tactics to play them well,” said Choi.

“Our players are ready for the match and we want to win the game and give ourselves a better chance in the second leg.

“Playing at an opponent’s ground is, of course, a challenge, but our players always want three points from our games and we will win.”

For Jeonbuk, Lee Dong-Gook has been the catalyst across all competitions. He has three goals to his name in Asia this year as well as five goals in the K-League Classic.

The match kicks-off at 17:45 (HKT time).

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