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Victory at '1000 per cent' for A-League GF

NZN 4/05/2017 Ben McKay

Melbourne Victory can find reasons for each of their three A-League defeats to Sydney FC this season but are pledging not to find another in Sunday's grand final.

Refereeing decisions and fixture congestion were cited at the time by players and Victory coach Kevin Muscat as key factors in the losses to the Sky Blues.

Acknowledging those reasons - whether they're seen as mitigating factors, excuses or somewhere in between - seems crucial in unburdening Victory from their previous defeats to their grand final opponents.

Because a glimpse of the final A-League ladder, with Sydney FC 17 points clear on top, can't inspire confidence.

"We were not 100 per cent," Victory striker Besart Berisha said on Thursday of their meetings with Sydney FC this season.

"We scored 1-0 (in two matches) and couldn't hold the result.

"We can score against them. We can play good football.

"We proved (in the semi-final) against Brisbane how dangerous we are. How good we are defensively.

"We believe we can do it.

"This is the game we live, we play, we breathe (for).

"Everybody is not 100 per cent (for the grand final), everybody is 1000 per cent."

The boggy Allianz Stadium pitch marred their previous clash but Victory have quashed that debate.

Berisha said it "doesn't interest us at all".

"It's a final game," he said.

"One of the most important games in our lives. We don't care where we play or who we play."

Speaking after an intense training session in Melbourne ahead of the decider, captain Carl Valeri recast the match as a battle of wills.

"What matters most is how we perform," he said.

"Both teams are going to lift, the intensity is going to be very high. It's about who wants it more.

"Form doesn't count for anything.

"It's a one off game. We both deserve to be here ... it's up for grabs."

Valeri, 32, said he'd counselled younger Victory players on butterflies in the stomach ahead of Sunday's match.

"Speaking to one of them before he said 'I'm a bit nervous'," he said.

"Really, everyone's nervous.

"And if you're not nervous you shouldn't be playing.

"It's an exciting game. One that we all look forward to.

"This is where we wanted to be."

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