Melbourne Victory coach Tony Popovic has backed his young and fringe attackers to step up amid Socceroos call-ups and injuries ruling out four key forwards.
Socceroos call-ups and injuries have decimated Melbourne Victory's forward stocks but coach Tony Popovic has backed his fringe attackers to step up against Western United.
In-form young gun Ben Folami was a late Socceroos call-up and will join Nick D'Agostino in camp ahead of games against Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Robbie Kruse avoided an ACL tear but suffered knee cartilage damage against Vissel Kobe, while Chris Ikonomidis has had another hamstring setback.
It means Italian Francesco Margiotta is set to lead the line with Nishan Velupillay and Lleyton Brooks among those jostling to join Marco Rojas in attack.
"We'd love to have him (Folami) but I've always maintained we want players to reach the highest level they can and we want to help them achieve their goals and their dreams," Popovic said.
"We have a few out with Robbie unfortunately out and a big question mark over Chris, still. So that's four players that are out of the attack.
"But it gives an opportunity for these young boys who have been knocking on the door. It's a chance for some other youngsters to step up and in a big game, so the pressure will be on.
"I'm looking forward to seeing which boys can really step up to the mark."
Popovic hailed Victory stalwart Leigh Broxham, who will make his 350th league appearance on Wednesday.
Broxham is the third player to reach the milestone after Andrew Durante and Nikolai Topor-Stanley but the first to play all their games at one club.
"I spoke to him before I took the job on about what he wants to do in terms of his football and could hear in his voice he still had the passion, the desire," he said.
"He was really down about the last couple of years and what's happened to the club and that just showed me how much he loves the game.
"He didn't shy away from responsibility of what's happened and the part that he feels he's played in it.
"He wanted an opportunity to to try and help change the situation and he was happy to play any part he could and he's making a major contribution to to the improvements we've made this year."
Victory beat United twice earlier in the season but coach John Aloisi shrugged off any concerns.
"They're just a derby. You want to win. We're not really looking back and saying 'oh we lost to them' because that's a long time ago and a lot has passed since then," Aloisi said.