Only two more sleeps until the A-League kicks off with a big Melbourne derby. Heart has had the better of Victory with two wins and three draws in their six encounters, Victory's sole triumph coming in the first season. Today we run the rule over Victory's roster, and tomorrow Heart will go under the microscope.
Tando Velaphi Good shot-stopper, athletic and, at 25, has enough experience to establish himself after missing most of last year through injury.
Lawrence Thomas Twenty-year-old who has done well when asked to fill in, notably when making debut off the bench after last season's first-choice Ante Covic was sent off against Brisbane.
Mark Milligan Experienced Socceroo centre-back who has been to two World Cups and played in Japan. Should add poise and steel in equal measure.
Spase Dilevski Former youth international whose career has stalled after a bright beginning when he spent time at Dutch giant PSV Eindhoven and Premier League club Tottenham. At 27, still has time to deliver on his promise.
Matt Foschini Tough-tackling, energetic wing-back who can play in the centre of defence. Has come through Victory's youth system and has a chance to consolidate.
Adrian Leijer Tall, rugged central defender and club captain. Has been plagued by injury but fit for the start of the campaign.
Peter Franjic Young centre-back who came through the youth team. Had limited first-team chances last season; will get opportunities through injury or suspension.
Sam Gallagher Left-sided centre-half or left-back who has played for his country as a junior. Signed from Central Coast Mariners.
Adama Traore Exciting, pacy left-wing back signed from Gold Coast after that club's collapse. Represented Ivory Coast at under-20 and under-21 levels, and still only 22.
Jonathan Bru A new signing, the 27-year-old holding midfielder has played in his native France and also Portugal. Won caps for Les Bleus at junior levels, but plays internationally for Mauritius, his family's native country.
Guilherme Finkler Brazilian attacking midfielder with good touch. Will likely be used at the point of a midfield troika, playing off Marcos Flores.
Marcos Flores Argentinian attacking midfielder or striker and Victory's marquee player. Won the Johnny Warren Medal in his sole year in the A-League with Adelaide, which he left to take up a deal in China.
Bill Celeski Talented local product whose career has been badly curtailed by injuries. Impressed enough to be called into the Socceroo squad in 2010.
Leigh Broxham Famously progressed from water boy and boot-bag carrier to fully fledged professional. Hard-working, tough-tackling midfielder.
Isaka Cernak Quick and strong, often used in wide areas. Had an impressive season with North Queensland after a stint at Brisbane. Made 17 appearances in his first season with the club.
Diogo Ferreira Junior international who went to Portugal and won a youth contract with Porto. Returned home in 2009. Hard-working midfielder who can do a defensive job as well.
Marco Rojas Exciting New Zealand youngster who joined Victory after making a major impact with Wellington Phoenix in his first season in the league. Skilful and creative and should be a big improver.
Jimmy Jeggo Had a breakthrough season in 2011-12. Austrian-born 20-year-old signed a three-year deal with the club and made his debut against the Mariners, eventually starting seven times.
Julius Davies Youngest player in the first-team squad, the Liberian-born teenager turns 18 tomorrow. More likely to be an impact player than a starter.
Danny Allsopp Regular goalscorer and a major contributor in Victory's two titles. Played in the NSL and in England before returning home for the inaugural A-League campaign.
Archie Thompson Victory's highest-profile player (save for Harry Kewell's 12 months in Melbourne) — and the most important. A top goalscorer, regular member of the Socceroo squad and hugely important marketing face.
Theo Markelis Youngster more likely to start off the bench, the small but pacy striker offers dynamism and a direct approach. Returned to Australia to join Victory after several years in Spain and a season in Italy.