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AAP
Sport
Anna Harrington

Victory's Morrison set for Heyman duel

Victory skipper Kayla Morrison (r) has the defensive job on Canberra United star Michelle Heyman. (Will Murray/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Melbourne Victory coach Jeff Hopkins has put the onus on skipper Kayla Morrison to shut down Michelle Heyman, and with her, Canberra United.

Centre-back Morrison has steadily improved every week since returning in round one from an ACL injury, including scoring a hat-trick in Victory's recent win over Newcastle.

Hopkins said she would have to be at her best against A-League Women all-time top goalscorer Heyman, who has two goals and one assist in five games, in Victory's clash with United at CB Smith Reserve on Saturday.

"I'm looking forward to (Morrison) versus Michelle because I'd say Michelle is a very good player, one of the best if not the best in the league at what she does," Hopkins told reporters on Friday.

"I've kind of put it on Kayla a little bit to step up and make sure that she wins that duel."

Hopkins hailed Morrison's "outstanding" return from injury and expected her to only get better, with Victory eyeing their fourth win on the bounce.

"She's a real leader of this group. And players listen to her, the players follow her. That side of things shouldn't be underestimated," he said.

"Defensively, she's stronger, she's quicker, she's as aggressive if not more aggressive with her defending (than before her injury).

"She's had the ball at her feet for a long time now and she's improved out of sight with her distribution and she's a very important player for us."

Hopkins was wary of Heyman's fellow attackers Vesna Milivojevic, Grace Jale and Nicki Flannery.

"They play quite an aggressive press, they will put us under pressure at the back," he said.

"We've worked hard on building up. We've got to be able to play, either though, over or around their press.

"There's a lot of rewards for us if we can do that."

Goalkeeper Casey Dumont has been cleared to leave concussion protocols while midfielder Amy Jackson is also fit.

Centre-back Claudia Bunge (ankle) will miss another week.

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