Shanghai SIPG manager Vitor Pereira is not willing to give any definitive answers as to whether star man Hulk will play against Melbourne Victory in the Asian Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night.
The game at AAMI Park is a dead rubber, however both Pereira and Victory coach Kevin Muscat see the game as an opportunity to prepare for future matches.
However Pereira said star Oscar was left in Shanghai to regain some energy, but his Brazilian teammate Hulk was every chance to play against Victory.
Hulk and Pereira know each other well, previously crossing paths at Portuguese giants FC Porto.
“Hulk is here with us, he’s not come for holidays, he’s come to try and help us,” Pereira said.
“Tomorrow, I want to see my team in a good level compete and to show that everybody is ready to help the club at this level.
“Oscar needs to rest, this is an opportunity for us to rest and to prepare because we’re playing a lot of matches. This is an opportunity to see other players and to rest others to be in top condition for the next match.
“I know my players, tomorrow we’ll compete at a good level and this is what I want for them.”
Muscat hinted this morning he will be making changes from the Victory team that started against Sydney FC last week.
Victory play Adelaide United at home in an Elimination Final on Sunday night.
The Shanghai boss praised Muscat’s team.
“It’s a very good team, they surprised me with the quality some players,” he said.
“They have good players in attack, good midfielders and are a strong physical team. They play a difficult game because they play a vertical game, fast counter-attacks, they have quality and good players too.
“It was a group stage that was very difficult and the level of the team for me was similar and we did well. I want to see my players facing this team and show they’re ready to compete at this level.”