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Muscat not fooled by ailing Adelaide

Second against last.

A clean bill of health compared to a weak and wounded squad that's endured a midweek Asian Champions League mauling.

Surely Melbourne Victory against Adelaide United has all the hallmarks of an A-League belting in the making?

Not so, according to coach Kevin Muscat.

"It's a trap for fools and we certainly have not taken that approach," he said on Friday.

Victory will start short-priced favourites against their traditional rivals, who will be missing captain Eugene Galekovic, and key midfielder Isaias among others.

There are many in the Victory faithful licking their lips at the prospect of a similar belting to the 5-0 result that Perth served the Reds a fortnight ago.

But Victory were held 0-0 by Newcastle two weekends ago, the team that Adelaide beat last week for just their fourth of the season.

"Adelaide were good last week," he said.

"There's a certain amount of unknown for us in terms of what team they're going to put out. And we don't have to look too far into history to see the contrast (in our form)."

Striker Besart Berisha tabled his intentions to return to international football this week.

The 31-year-old has declared for Kosovo and is planning on playing for the Balkan minnows in next month's World Cup qualifier with Iceland, though Muscat suggested it was far from a done deal.

"Things have changed in that part of the world and Bes has (previously) rejected offers to go back (to international football) but at this point in his career, he's felt it's something he wants to explore," he said.

"I'm pleased for him. Now we just wait and see whether he gets selected and we'll take it from there."

Until then, Victory will continue to try and heap pressure on leaders Sydney FC.

The Sky Blues are eight points clear and play Melbourne City on Friday night and then Victory next week.

"Regardless what happens (in the City-Sydney match), we have to beat Adelaide. Only then will we have a chance to open the gap or close the gap or mind the gap."

STATS THAT MATTER * Adelaide are on a nine-match winless run away from home - and have scored just twice in six games on their travels.

* Victory striker Besart Berisha is three goals on top of the A-League scorers list this season with 16 goals and needs just three more to hit a century in the competiton.

* Another clean sheet for Victory would be their third in a row. Not for 18 months have they achieved a similar streak.