Salvachua to turn to youth in freezing clash with FC Seoul

Melbourne Victory head coach Carlos Salvachua revealed he will hand opportunities to some youngsters in their AFC Champions League group stage clash against FC Seoul.

The ninth-placed Hyundai A-League side have been training in snow-covered conditions in the Korea Republic capital ahead of their second Group E match at Sangam Stadium.

Victory claimed a 1-0 win against Thai outfit Chiangrai United in the pool opener, thanks to Ola Toivonen’s penalty, as 19-year-old Brandon Lauton played from the start, while Benjamin Carrigan, 21, and Jay Barnett, 19, came off the bench.

FC Seoul, who finished third in the 2019 K League campaign, are 11 days out from the opening game of their new season and will offer a completely different challenge than Victory have faced in their two previous AFC Champions League matches in this campaign.

And, with a return to league action back down under only four days later against 10th-placed Newcastle Jets in the Hunter, Salvachua admits he will shuffle the pack in Seoul. 

“For us it’s an important game especially for the young players that we have here, some of them will start,” Salvachua said.

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“It’s a great opportunity to put our name out there here in Korea. 

“We are comfortable because we know these kind of games are special for the players and everybody want to play in this stadium.”

Victory will expect to line up in freezing conditions at kick-off, with temperature set to drop to a low of -6 degrees on Tuesday night.

“We have adapted to the weather in the last two days. It was snowing and was really, really cold,” Salvachua said.

“The weather is a bit different to where we’ve come from,” added Kiwi attacker Marco Rojas.

“We had a lot of rain and wind [in Denmark] and I’d take the snow over that any day.

“I did experience a little bit [of snow] in Switzerland, that was nice.

“It’s a bit easier, with no heat. It’s a bit easier in terms of running around in this than above 25-30 degrees so I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

ROUND 20: How to watch Hyundai A-League Round 20
TALKING POINTS: Phoenix show they can go where no Kiwi side has gone before

Round 20

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, 22 February 2020
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports