He knows it will be tough but Melbourne Victory coach Tony Popovic wants his team to embrace a hectic March schedule with seven matches in 23 days.

Melbourne March Madness

  • Melbourne Victory are to play seven matches in 23 days.
  • This includes six A-League matches and one Champions League play-off.
  • Victory are currently fifth in the ladder with four games in hand on first placed City.

More A-League news can be found on FTBL.

Victory's bumper month begins on Friday with an A-League Men's clash at AAMI Park against in-form Macarthur FC, and includes an Asian Champions League playoff in Japan against Vissel Kobe on March 15.

Last week's postponements of back-to-back fixtures against Brisbane Roar due to south-east Queensland's severe weather means the visit of Macarthur will be Victory's first game in 13 days.

From there such a break will quickly become a distant memory as Popovic's team find themselves racing through fixtures.

"A huge challenge for us but an exciting one as well," Popovic said.

"Things are out of hands sometimes with the games that have been postponed due to our FFA Cup success, due to COVID, due to unforeseen weather conditions around the country.

"The Japan game is obviously a reward for winning the cup.

"We will embrace the challenge. Yes, it will be difficult but it's an exciting month ahead and we want to get as many points as possible to put ourselves in a strong position that we can challenge the best sides at the end of the year."

Friday's game is the Victory's first against Macarthur this season.

After snapping a five-game wait for a win that stretched back to Christmas with a 4-1 thumping of Adelaide, Ante Milicic's men have claimed four points on the road against Perth and Newcastle to move to third on the ladder.

The meeting will also be the first time good friends Popovic and Milicic have gone head-to-head as rival coaches.

"He obviously has had experience at Melbourne Heart and with myself at Wanderers on how to start a football club and he's doing a wonderful job," Popovic said of his former Western Sydney assistant.

"They have some fantastic individuals and they're a hard, aggressive team defensively.

"They've got some real experience at the back and they've got some flair going forward. We expect a really tough game."

Veteran defender Matthew Spiranovic may be fit to face the Bulls after picking up a quad injury in the 1-0 win over Central Coast earlier this month, while Jason Geria is back in contention after being rested against the Mariners.


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The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.