Preview: Melbourne Victory v Suwon Bluewings

Melbourne Victory host the Suwon Bluewings at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Tuesday in a crucial AFC Champions League Group G encounter.

This will be the first time the teams have met, and a win for either outfit would come as a boost as they are both coming off losses on the weekend.

Victory were handed a heavy defeat by Brisbane Roar who put five goals past them in Saturday’s A-League action. Similarly, the Bluewings lost 2-0 to Seongnam in Saturday’s K-League Classic clash.

In terms of Group G standings, Victory are enjoying their best-ever start to an AFC Champions League campaign, sitting pretty at the top of the group with four points. As a result, a win for the home side will virtually guarantee them a place in the knockout stages, which will be a first for the club in five attempts.

However, history is against Victory, as their last win over a South Korean team at home came in 2008 against Chunnam Dragons.

Meanwhile, the South Korean outfit are wallowing at the bottom of the group after one loss and one draw and are in dire need of a victory to keep their slim hopes of reaching the next stage alive.

Personnel wise, the hosts will be without star striker Jai Ingham – who helped them to a 2-1 win over Shanghai SIPG in their opening fixture – as he is serving a suspension after picking up two yellow cards in the group stage.

For Suwon, defenders Yang Sang-min and Cho Won-hee are in thin ice following their yellow cards in the opening two fixtures. However, up-and-coming midfielder Jang Hyun-soo will look to continue his form after coming off the bench to score against Shanghai SIPG during their 2-1 loss.

Melbourne coach Kevin Muscat is hoping his charges can learn from their 1-1 draw against Gamba Osaka earlier this month.

“I thought it was an excellent game of football with two teams intent on attacking; we played against a very good Gamba side, but we were also well structured,” Muscat told reporters.

“We scored early and forced Gamba to come on the offensive maybe a little bit more than they normally would, it made the tie very exciting for the mutual, and anyone would think both teams deserved at least a point.”

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