Football 2 years ago

A-League clubs prepare for ACL fate

  • A-League clubs prepare for ACL fate

Melbourne Victory could come face to face with their Asian Champions League (ACL) demons when the draw is made on Thursday night for the 2016 competition.

Victory could be thrown up against the two sides who qualified at their expense in 2014; Chinese mega-club and reigning ACL champions Guangzhou Evergrande and Korean powerhouse Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

It's a tasty proposition but utility Leigh Broxham says the Kevin Muscat-coached club isn't driven by revenge.

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"I wouldn't give that two seconds of thought. If it happens, it happens," Broxham said on Wednesday.

Instead, it's a chance to finally qualify for the knockout rounds of the competition, something Victory are yet to achieve in their five campaigns.

Broxham said Victory would be studying Western Sydney's path to winning the 2014 competition to repeat their success.

"A couple of years ago, Musky managed it well and we were unlucky not to get out of the group," he said.

"The club looks after us as much as they can; they give us as much as we need.

"No doubt, Musky and the staff and administration will try and find everything that they can do."

Sydney FC, who also won direct qualification as a result of reaching the A-League grand final, could meet 2011 conquerors Suwon Samsung Bluewings.

The K-League club knocked out the Sky Blues, then coached by Vitezslav Lavicka, on their last visit to the competition.

Adelaide United could also return to the competition by winning a playoff.

ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2016 QUALIFIERS - EAST ZONE:

* Australia: Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC

* South Korea: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, FC Seoul, Suwon Samsung Bluewings

* Japan: Sanfrecce Hiroshima (plus two others)

* China: Guangzhou Evergrande, Jiangsu Guoxin-Sainty

* Thailand: Buriram United

* Vietnam: Becamex Binh Duong

Winners of four playoffs will join the above 12 teams. Adelaide United are Australia's representative in the playoffs, to be staged on February 9.

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