Murray United is eyeing back-to-back wins for just the second time this season when they host Melbourne Victory's youth outfit at La Trobe on Saturday.
The Border side ran into a red-hot Melbourne City youth team back in round two, losing 6-2, and is expecting to face a similar style from the competition's other A-League affiliated opponent.
"What you get with these youth sides is they focus on building up from the back and ball retention and moving it quickly," Murray coach Elliot Jones said.
"We expect them to be a very slick side, but we feel like we've come a long way since the start of the year and are ready to go in terms of combating the style of play they want to bring.
"We played really well last weekend and we're full of confidence."
A two-week ban for captain Ashley Dunn leaves a huge hole in the midfield for Murray.
Once the suspension has been served, it will be just the fourth game Dunn has missed since signing with Murray midway through 2015.
"Dunny is pretty hard to replace in the middle of the park," Jones said.
"What we'll look to do is get a really even spread of players and contributors.
"We feel like we have the talent to step in and take care of that, but we're not going to replace like-for-like for Dunny because he brings so much to the side."
But Jones believes what they lose in leadership with Dunn will be offset by the inclusion of former Socceroo defender Jade North.
The club's marquee signing flies in Saturday morning and will link up with ex-teammate Archie Thompson for their first game together in more than five years.
Also in sport:
"I've been speaking to Jade and he's raring to go. It's really exciting for the club and I think Archie is genuinely excited to be playing alongside his good friend," Jones said.
"As much as it's exciting, we're there to do a job and get the points.
"I have no doubt the professionalism that Jade and Archie bring, once it's time to get to business, they'll put their best foot forward."
Despite winning just four of its first 12 matches, Murray United only sits four points shy of sixth spot - the position they need to finish the season in to remain in the second tier of Victorian football next year.
"I think it just proves the competition is very even and if you're not on your game, you can get exposed," Jones said.
"If you get it right on the day you can get the points against any side."
Young midfielder Fletcher Caponecchia trained strongly this week, but is unlikely to be risked as he recovers from an ankle injury.
Kick-off is 3pm.
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here