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Archie backs Berisha for A-League record

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016 Ben McKay

Melbourne Victory goalscoring machine Archie Thompson has endorsed Besart Berisha to claim his A-League goalscoring record in Saturday's Melbourne derby.

The Albanian striker needs one goal to reach Thompson's tally of 90 A-League goals and the ex-Socceroo signalled his support for the changing of the guard that could come against rivals Melbourne City.

"If anyone's going to take my record ... I wish it'd be Bes and it's going to be Bes," he told SEN on Friday morning.

"He lives and breathes for the game. He's the ultimate professional.

"He's got a year left with Victory and he can play on for a few more years.

"He'll take it tomorrow, hopefully."

Thompson was magnanimous on the airwaves but his former coach Kevin Muscat mischievously said there might be a swirling of emotions.

"I think secretly he might be a little bit disappointed," Muscat said.

"He'll revert back to the 'Bes takes penalties' and he never did (argument)."

Muscat said there hadn't been a focus on the record at the club through the week, and the 31-year-old wasn't either.

"Put it this way, I don't think he could think about scoring goals more than he already does," Muscat said.

In six A-League seasons, Berisha has netted 89 goals, including 48 in three seasons at Brisbane when he sat at the apex of the Roar's imperious strike force.

Muscat successfully lured the hitman south on a marquee deal, where he helped Victory lift the 2014/15 A-League double.

In that season, Thompson and Berisha combined with aplomb.

Berisha scored 15 times, while Thompson, playing on the wing or in Berisha's absence up front, enjoyed his best season in five campaigns, scoring 11 times.

Thompson said there were no hard feelings about losing the signature record.

"Records are meant to be broken. It's what impact you've had on the sport which is your legacy," he said.

The career Victory man said Muscat's side - which currently sit third in the league with a game in hand - were not yet hitting their full potential this campaign.

"Victory have been under the radar because they haven't been performing well but they're picking up points," he said.

"When they start to perform they're going to be very scary.

"Hopefully they can start tomorrow ... they've lost a little bit of (derby) bragging rights."

Thompson's prediction is for a 2-1 Victory win - with a Berisha double - that would mean the end of his record-owning stint.

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