Gui Finkler will miss Melbourne Victory’s clash with Newcastle Jets due to a groin strain, while new goalkeeper Nathan Coe is set to play.
Victory head coach Ange Postecoglou revealed Finkler reported some soreness in his adductor after last week’s 2-1 win over Adelaide United and scans have shown he has injured the muscle, meaning the Brazilian midfielder will be given a week’s rest.
Finkler is expected to miss just one game as Victory’s next fixture, at home against Wellington Phoenix, is 10 days after Friday night’s match in Newcastle.
“He (Finkler) pulled up sore after the Adelaide game and we did a scan on him and he strained an adductor,” Postecoglou said at training on Thursday.
“So he’ll miss this week but we’ve got a 10-day break before the next one and, this early in the season, there’s no point pushing him through it.”
Jonathan Bru will return to the starting line-up against the Jets after being dropped to the bench for the Adelaide match, while Coe, who was only revealed as a Victory player on Wednesday, will debut.
Coe’s introduction will push Tando Velaphi to the bench and Lawrence Thomas out of the squad altogether, while Billy Celeski will take up the more advanced position Finkler has operated in, with Bru playing defensive midfield alongside Mark Milligan.
“We’ve had a fair few disruptions in the first two to three rounds because of international commitments, so we want to settle the team down a little bit,” Postecoglou said.
Coe’s signing has raised a few eyebrows because very few A-League clubs retain three goalkeepers.
Postecoglou claimed, however, that Coe’s arrival did not mean either Velaphi or Thomas would leave Victory and rejected suggestions the new gloveman was brought in because neither of the incumbents could pass the ball out of defence.
“He was signed cause he is a quality player and obviously an opportunity arose for us with Danny (Allsopp) retiring that we could bring in another player and Nathan was the only one I spoke to,” Postecoglou said.
“I was keen to get him in because I know him well, he was available and he brings quality to our squad.”