It's crunch time in PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria with two huge Elimination Finals as the top six gets set to be reduced to four after this weekend.
South Melbourne (1) and Bentleigh Greens (2) have a first round finals bye. South Melbourne will play the lowest advancing seed in the semi-finals and Bentleigh Greens the other advancing team. If finals are level at full time, matches will go to two 15-minute halves of extra time. If level after extra time, matches will be decided by penalty shoot-out.
Melbourne Knights (4) v Hume City (5)
7:30pm, Friday August 28, 2015
Knights Stadium, Sunshine
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria #MKvHC #PS4NPLVIC
Last time they met:
Melbourne Knights 2-0 Hume City - Match Report
The recent meeting between the teams was a comfortable 2-0 win for Melbourne Knights, with mid-season acquisition Robbie Zadworny setting the tone with an early goal. Knights slipped up in the final round of the season however, dropping from third to fourth with a 2-0 home defeat against Port Melbourne Sharks.
The strategy from Knights was to rest players and prepare for the elimination final regardless of ladder position or opponent. Midfielder Tomislav Uskok (10 yellow cards) will miss the game with suspension.
"Both games were entertaining during the home and away season, and come finals time it's a do-or-die battle," Hume City coach Lou Acevski told Knights TV.
"If we progress we go on to a bigger challenge and be only one game away from a grand final."
Hume has not scored in the two matches against Knights this season and will be looking to talisman Nick Hegarty and strikers Daniel Clark and Theo Markelis to find a way to goal.
Heidelberg United (3) v Pascoe Vale (6)
3:00pm, Sunday August 30, 2015
Olympic Village, Heidelberg West
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria #HUvPV #PS4NPLVIC
Last time they met:
Pascoe Vale 1-2 Heidelberg United - Match Report
Heidelberg has two wins from two against Pascoe Vale this season, opening the year with a 3-0 win before completing the season double in May. Coming off a short break after a mid-week Westfield FFA Cup tie, Heidelberg United has shown that a regular rhythm of catch-up games and cup ties has not sapped the squad.
Kenny Athiu's mid-week goal in the FFA Cup was also a welcome sign for Heidelberg, given it is widely expected that star striker Dan Heffernan will have signed for Central Coast Mariners by the time kick-off arrives on Sunday. The strong form of centre backs Luke Byles and Steven Pace means Heidelberg will take some breaking down.
Pascoe Vale's form suggests a major turn-around will be necessary to spring a surprise here. Winless in five and scoring just two goals in that run, is a far cry from the mid-winter winning streak that secured Pascoe Vale's place in the top six.
Joseph Youssef (10 goals) and Davey van 't Schip (five) as Pacoe Vale's top scorers this season, and while neither has been prolific, both can prove a handful on their day.