Melbourne Victory captain Adrian Leijer is anticipating a goal feast when his side tackles cross-town rival Melbourne Heart in Friday night’s A-League season opener at Etihad Stadium.
Though Victory has lost its two leading goalscorers from last season in Harry Kewell and Carlos Hernandez, Leijer is convinced its latest incarnation has plenty of players capable of hitting the net.
Veteran striker Archie Thompson remains a proficient in front of goal, while the addition of former Johnny Warren medallist Marcos Flores and Brazilian Guilherme Finkler adds extra options up front.
“Archie has been around a long time and is a proven goalscorer, so we know we are going to get goals out of him,” Leijer said.
“But a guy like Marco Rojas, he had a bit of a quiet year last year, but I think he is one that has looked pretty exciting during pre-season.
“Then we have got Finkler and Flores in behind them who will provide a lot of opportunities for those guys.
“So we have got a very attacking line up and hopefully that excites the fans.”
Leijer said there was no better way to begin the season than a home derby in front of a passionate and packed house crowd.
“It is an exciting game at any time of year and the boys are looking forward to it,” said the 26-year-old.
“It is probably the biggest game in the A-League and to establish ourselves and to let everybody know the A-League is back.
“We love our fans and especially when they are making noise. I think even the Heart boys enjoy the atmosphere that is created on the night from both sets of fans.
Leijer said new coach Ange Postecoglou had already made a tremendous impact at Victory and that he can already feel something special building at the club.
“The culture he has been creating at the club is exciting for us as players as we know we are going to get better under him,” he said.
“As a group we know we can have success under him if we adapt to what he wants us to do.
“It is exciting times for the football club and hopefully we can do the job on the field where it matters.”
Heart of Midlothian will begin next season with a 15-point penalty after major creditor Ukio Bankas succeeded in installing its preferred administrator in charge of the club.