NPL Preview: Valeri and Santalab to join forces in Victoria
Dandenong City's fight against relegation is set to receive a star boost with two recent Hyundai A-League retirees descending on NPL Victoria.
Perth Glory forward Brendon Santalab and Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri ended their professional careers this week and will now join up with Ante Moric's men.
Ex-Victory defender Adrian Leijer is also headed to Dandenong and the trio could debut away to leaders Avondale FC on Saturday.
“As club president I’m overwhelmed at the calibre of player we have been able to bring in at Dandenong City,” club president Tony Dorotic told nationalpremierleagues.com.au.
“All three of them are not only wonderful players but are gentlemen and fit the mould of what kind of people we want at Dandenong City.
“It’s a pleasure to have them on board as we fight to do all we can to move away from the foot of the ladder.”
Avondale will be hoping to increase the four-point gap to second-placed Bentleigh Greens, who head to South Melbourne in a big-name blockbuster.
The weekend begins with Melbourne Knights hosting Oakleigh Cannons on Friday night.
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There's a top-of-the-table tussle to look forward to in South Australia as pacesetters Adelaide Blue Eagles look to surge six points clear of Campbelltown City.
The Blue Eagles scored a 94th-minute winner when the teams met in Round 1 and the rematch is bound to be a brilliant contest at Marden Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Adelaide Comets are four points off first and will aim to stay in the conversation by overcoming struggling West Adelaide.
Over at TK Shutter Reserve, MetroStars will be itching to respond to their midweek FFA Cup humiliation at the hands of amateurs Elizabeth Downs.
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New South Wales
Title hopefuls Rockdale City Suns host fourth-placed Sydney United 58 in a blockbuster conclusion to Round 12.
Rockdale are just four points adrift of top spot and have eyes on the trophy, but defeat at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday could see them slide as far back as sixth.
Table-toppers Wollongong Wolves are simultaneously in action at Manly United, while second-placed APIA Leichhardt head to a Marconi Stallions side that is reeling from three successive losses.
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Perth SC have opened up a comfortable six-point cushion in WA and now aim to maintain their unbeaten start against an improving Cockburn City.
But with seven points from the past nine available, Cockburn are beginning to find their groove and could cause a few problems at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday.
Their most recent result was a draw with a Perth Glory outfit that sits second ahead of a visit to mid-table Bayswater City.
Floreat Athena, who have an almost identical record to Glory, host cellar-dwellers Stirling Lions.
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Broadmeadow Magic will expect to make it three wins on the trot when they visit Charlestown City Blues in Round 11.
The game comes less than a week after the leaders hammered five past Newcastle Jets Youth, who have the chance to rebound in a date with Maitland FC.
The Jets are locked in a three-way tie for second with Edgeworth Eagles and Weston Bears.
Their fixtures, against Lambton Jaffas and Lake Macquarie City, could go a long way to forcing some separation inside the top four.
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Tigers FC are set to undergo a stern examination of their title credentials as Canberra FC welcome the leaders to Deakin Stadium on Sunday.
Five wins from five have Gaby Wilk's side flying at the top of ladder but this weekend's opponents warmed up for a massive match by comfortably accounting for Riverina Rhinos last time out.
Canberra Olympic will want maximum points at home to Woden Weston in order to pounce on any slip-up.
CLICK HERE to find out more from the NPL Capital Football page.
FFA Cup qualifying is the main focus in the Sunshine State this weekend but there's still one NPL Queensland clash to whet the appetite.
Brisbane Strikers, who haven't lost in almost a month, host relegation-threatened Redlands United on Friday night.
You can see all the action from Perry Park via Football Queensland's live stream.
CLICK HERE to visit the NPL Queensland home page.
Statewide Cup action is the focus in the Apple Isle this weekend, meaning there are no NPL matches scheduled until Glenorchy Knights' clash with Clarence United on May 31.
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