Arguably the most successful club in the history of the A-League, Melbourne Victory have experienced a season resurgence in 2011, just making the top six. A season marred by controversy especially surrounding their captain Kevin Muscat, who, made one of the most vicious tackles in the history of the game.
Melbourne's season was always going to be one of catchup, after their opening round draw against rivals Sydney - where they came back from 2 goals down.
Melbourne relied on in form striker Robbie Kruse for much of the season. The young gun eventually earning an Australian call-up as a result of his stunning performances. Marquee player Ricardinho found his feet slowly at the club, but once he was up and running, Melbourne took creativity to a new level, breaking down even the best of the defences in the A-League. Carlos Hernandez meanwhile, was having that season, where inconsistancy was a regular part of his game.
With the absence of Muscat due to a lengthy suspension, Melbourne wll have to rely on their up and coming stars to pull through, to help the team mount a challenge against their rampant opposition. A loss on the last matchday of the season(Adelaide 2-1) will certainly do harm to the morale. The season certainly has not shaped up for Melbourne. Finishing 5th in the league will add an extra level of difficulty to the final, if they make it.
The five other teams who will contest the knockout round, may have produced a better brand of football this 2010/2011 season. However Melbourne have experience over the field. It may just be the advantage that is needed to carry Melbourne to the summit of the A-League yet again!