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Anna Harrington

Stung Victory regain big guns for Wanderers ALW clash

Melbourne Victory will regain star striker Catherine Zimmerman and gun goalkeeper Casey Dumont for their meeting with Western Sydney Wanderers, as they attempt to bounce back from last week's humiliation.

The reigning A-League Women champions were humbled 6-3 by rivals Sydney FC at AAMI Park last Thursday.

But coach Jeff Hopkins was confident his charges had processed and successfully moved on from that defeat.

"We've looked and we've learned and we'll put things in place to make sure one or two things that happened on the weekend don't happen again this week," he said.

Zimmerman - who had scored 13 goals across her previous two seasons - suffered a broken leg against Sydney in round two and has missed nine games.

Her return to fitness brings a much-needed boost for fourth-placed Victory.

"First of all, just the lift that she gives everyone else, knowing that she's in the team and the qualities she has," Hopkins said.

"She gives us that that ability with the ball. She's a finisher, she's a goalscorer but also she's one of those players that is always a real thorn in the side for opponents.

"She's a player that you can't take your eye off for a minute in the game or a second in the game.

"She's one of those players that draws defenders as well, maybe not just one defender, but a couple of defenders to create space for others.

"So it's not just what she does on the ball, it's a lot of her movement off the ball.

"We're really looking forward to getting her back. She's done so well to be back this early and we're really happy."

Fresh off being named in a Matildas squad for the first time, Wanderers captain Clare Hunt will likely be tasked with keeping Zimmerman and fellow Victory forward Maja Markovski quiet.

Zimmerman's return means Rikke Madsen's injury-replacement stint concludes.

Dumont returns from illness while centre-forward Melina Ayres (hamstring) has trained fully but will be another week away.

Western Sydney will attempt to kick on from last week's 1-0 win over Newcastle against Victory, who they drew 0-0 with on January 18.

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