Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat praised Tim Cahill but described the Australia great as “the enemy” ahead of Saturday’s derby.
Cahill has taken centre stage ahead of the clash at the Etihad Stadium, with the Socceroo set to make his A-League debut for Melbourne City.
Muscat knows what the 36-year-old is capable of, but feels his team have plenty of attacking threats of their own.
“Tim’s been great for our code and our country, but right here and now, he’s the enemy,” he told a news conference on Friday.
“We’ll get the game out of the way. He’s certainly in good enough condition at the moment so he’s going to be a threat, no doubt. We’ve analysed that throughout the week.
“We’ve got some serious threats going forward as well and that was evident last week that when teams turn the ball over or when we’re in comfortable possession, we’re going to want to threaten and it’ll be no different tomorrow.
“That’s why I think it’ll be a much more open game than what we saw last week.”
Victory were held to a draw in Brisbane in their season opener, while City claimed a 1-0 win in Wellington.
Muscat’s attacking options have taken a hit with James Troisi out with a broken collarbone and Marco Rojas having only returned from international duty on Friday.
Rojas is set to feature for Victory, although Muscat was unsure if the 24-year-old New Zealand attacker would start.
“He’ll be fine. He’ll be in this morning, we’ll assess him, but we’ve already received reports from the New Zealand FA and he’s fine,” Muscat said.
“He came off in both games so he’ll be fresh.”
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