'It's hard not knowing who or when we're playing'

Carl Valeri of the Melbourne Victory.
Carl Valeri of the Melbourne Victory. TRACEY NEARMY

MELBOURNE Victory captain Carl Valeri says his side is ready to play whoever, wherever and whenever in the semi-finals.

Players have trained every morning this week unaware even of who their opponent will be next weekend, or even what day their semi-final will be played.

The picture will become clearer on Friday night should Brisbane beat Western Sydney at Suncorp Stadium.

If that result transpires then the Roar will be locked into a grand final qualifier with the Victory in Melbourne, almost certainly at AAMI Park on Sunday week.

But if the Wanderers win they will take on Sydney FC in the semis, with the Victory left to sweat on the outcome of Melbourne City's elimination final with Perth on Sunday.

If Perth wins, Victory is likely to play that game at AAMI Park on the Sunday, but if City was to triumph it would set up a mouth-watering derby at Etihad Stadium next Friday night.

Valeri said the Victory's coaching and fitness staff would have the team in top shape for next week, whenever the game might be.

"We know from past experiences that if we don't work hard when we have a week off we're no good the following week, so our main concentration has been on getting some good training in our legs," Valeri said.

"Obviously it's hard not knowing who or when we're playing, but we've really just been working on ourselves because ultimately we know if we can do the things we've done well for the majority of the season then we can take it to any team."

The Victory skipper said derbies against City were his favourite games to play, but was loathe to nominate a preferred opponent given all the different permutations.

With their finals position all but confirmed for a month, Kevin Muscat's men suffered two losses and a draw from their last four games.

But Valeri is confident that run will have no bearing on Victory's finals output.

"If you're one per cent off in this league you get punished," he said.

"But the Wellington game was the only game I was really disappointed with our performance.

"Come finals it's a different ball game and I'm confident that as long as those chances are there, with the strikers we have in front of us, if they're firing then we're hard to stop."

Topics:  a league melbourne victory

News Corp Australia

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