Victory star Toivonen content for Sydney FC to 'control' Big Blue
Ola Toivonen will happily let Sydney FC dictate terms in Saturday night's mouth-watering Big Blue on the proviso that Melbourne Victory repeat their November triumph.
Victory, beaten just once in 13 matches, can climb above the second-placed Sky Blues by snaring all three points against their rivals for the second meeting in succession.
Kevin Muscat's men prevailed 2-1 at Jubilee Oval in the clubs' last encounter despite spending large portions of the contest on the back foot.
PREVIEW: The Big Blue between Victory and Sydney FC
SQUADS: All the ins and outs for Round 16
STAR MAN: Victory forward included in FIFA 19 TOTW
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
Star striker Toivonen was on target in that match and admitted Sydney FC got on top, not that he is fazed by the prospect of it happening again at AAMI Park.
"I think they were controlling the game but in the end we won," the former PSV man said of the Round 5 fixture.
"I'm not complaining about that – they can control the game on Saturday as well as long as we win.
"Overall I think [Sydney FC] are a good team and we are respectful. But we will go out and try to win."
Honda injury forces gear shift
Sweden international Toivonen takes a hot run of form into the crunch clash, having already notched nine goals in his debut Hyundai A-League campaign including six amid Keisuke Honda's injury absence.
The marquee midfielder will again miss out this weekend due to a problematic hamstring that has sidelined him since before Christmas.
Toivonen explained that Victory, the competition's top scorers, have been forced to tweak their style without Honda available to pull the strings.
"We try not to but of course without a quality player, as Keisuke is, we need to change a little bit," the 32-year-old said.
"Maybe [we are playing] a little bit more direct instead of keeping a little bit more possession.
"When he's playing he's dictating the tempo, for both teams. So now maybe we are playing a little bit more direct."
The Big Blue is scheduled to get underway at 7:50pm on Saturday and will be broadcast live on both FOX SPORTS 505 and 10 Boss.